Romney’s Embrace of the House Republicans’ Anti-Environmental Agenda

A lot of Romney’s views about energy and regulation seem familiar.  There’s a reason for that.  Driven by the Tea Party, the House has passed numerous deregulatory laws, some of them multiple times. On average, the House Republicans averaged more than one anti-environmental vote for every day the House was in session in 2011. Romney echos this anti-environmental agenda faithfully, as the following table documents:

Romney’s Position Republican House bills
“Require congressional approval of all new ‘major’ regulations” The Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act (H.R. 10) requires approval from both houses of Congress before federal agencies can implement any significant rule, including those to protect the environment and public health.
“As president, Mitt Romney will eliminate the regulations promulgated in pursuit of the Obama administration’s costly and ineffective anti-carbon agenda.” The FY2011 funding bill prohibited EPA from using any funds for the purposes of “enforcing or promulgating any regulation … or order, taking action relating to, or denying approval of state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.”
“I will permit access to our resources in the Gulf of Mexico, the Outer Continental Shelf, western lands and the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.” H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, to expedite leasing in the Gulf of Mexico and open new areas off the Virginia coast to oil and gas drilling.As of February, House Republicans had voted twelve times to approve drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge.
“Mitt will approve the Keystone XL pipeline” H.R. 1938 would have required the Obama Administration to make a decision on the Keystone XL permit by November 1, 2011, and to short- circuit the existing State Department review process.
“In my administration, coal will not be a four-letter word. Instead, we will applaud the industry’s success in consistently expanding electricity output while reducing pollution.” House Republicans passed H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, to overturn EPA’s regulations of interstate pollution and its mercury and toxics rules for coal plants.
“Romney will also press Congress to reform our environmental laws to ensure that they allow for a proper assessment of their costs.” Under the Latta amendment, air quality standards would cease to be health-based and would instead be set in part based on economic costs to polluters. The Latta amendment passed with only 11 Republicans voting in opposition.H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, would have imposed a more general cost-benefit mandate.
Would eliminate government financial support for renewable energy except for research funding. H.R. 2354, an appropriations bill for 2012 that allocated just $1.3 billion to clean energy and efficiency programs. This is almost 60% below the President’s request and 27% below the previous year’s levels.The Ryan budget outlined significant budget cuts for energy programs, reducing overall funding by 83% by 2020.

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