Cochran, Wicker caution White House on greenhouse gas regulation

U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today cautioned the Obama administration not to act unilaterally to expand the scope of a federal environmental review law in its effort to regulate greenhouse gases.

The Mississippi Senators are among 33 Senators who signed a letter to the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) that takes issue with administration plans to finalize standards requiring agencies to address greenhouse gases under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), arguing that draft guidance issued by CEQ would erroneously expand the scope of NEPA. It argues that the nation’s economic recovery would be hurt if the administration uses NEPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“This administration should not be trying to get around statutory limitations to impose greenhouse gas regulations,” said Cochran, who has cosponsored legislation to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from using guidance documents to expand its regulatory reach without congressional oversight (S.320).