Clean Air Issues in the 110th Congress: Climate Change, Air Quality Standards, and Oversight [Updated October 19, 2007]   [open pdf - 288KB]

"Attention to environmental issues in the 110th Congress focused early and heavily on climate change -- the state of the science, and whether (and, if so, how) to address greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Ten bills had been introduced to establish GHG emission caps as of late September, and hearings on climate change have been held by at least seven committees. Legislation has yet to be marked up, however, in either House or Senate committees. Seven of the ten greenhouse gas bills introduced as of this writing would amend the Clean Air Act, generally establishing a new Title VII to address the issue. Whether or not legislation would amend the Clean Air Act, climate change hearings and markup are among the highest expressed priorities in the coming months for the committees that have jurisdiction over air issues (principally the Senate Environment and Public Works and House Energy and Commerce Committees). Other clean air issues are less likely to be the main focus of attention, but they may be addressed, especially through oversight of Administration actions. […] On April 2, the Supreme Court decided two cases that have broad implications for EPA and state authority to control greenhouse gases and to regulate power plants. In the more sweeping of the two cases, Massachusetts v. EPA, the Court found that EPA has authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles. Other cases involving climate change, clean air standards, and the regulation of power plants are pending at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and in a number of federal and state courts. Decisions in these cases may prompt hearings or legislation. […]"

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL33776
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