While American consumers and businesses are facing rising gas prices, House Republicans are trying to take advantage of this pain at the pump to justify their unpopular policies to stop EPA from updating limits on air pollution that threaten our health. The Republican claim that their legislation blocking the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases will stop rising gas prices was rated FALSE today by Politifact, an independent Pulitzer Prize winning fact check organization. Politifact writes, “there’s no proof that the law would actually stop gas prices from rising”:
…the regulations targeted by the House bill are new ones. So if the House bill passes, it would essentially protect the status quo — not take any explicit action to stop price hikes.
So where does this leave us?
While Upton and Whitfield’s letter is carefully worded, it frames the argument for the bill in the context of today’s trend of rising gasoline prices. Yet the impact of the bill — if there is an one — would be years away. And there’s no proof that the law would actually stop gas prices from rising. The added regulations now being planned may hamper U.S. refiners, but the international free market could just as easily end up keeping refining costs low. And it’s hardly assured that any changes in refining costs — up or down — will influence gasoline prices, which are subject to a wide array of influenes. We find their claim False.
And as EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson pointed out last Friday before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, the House Republican bill to limit the EPA:
…would forfeit many hundreds of millions of barrels of oil savings, at a time when gas prices are rising yet again. I cannot, for the life of me, understand why you would vote to massively increase America’s oil dependence.
The American people overwhelmingly oppose the GOP’s plan to weaken Clean Air standards and stop the EPA from updating pollution limits.
78 percent believe the EPA should protect the air we breathe and the water we drink with safeguards that hold corporate polluters accountable for the pollution they release into the environment.
69 percent believe scientists at the EPA should decide what pollution limits are needed, not Members of Congress.