115th Congress Versus the EPA

The EPA is a popular boogieman. Treating it this way allows the federal employees in the U.S. Congress to pretend that ‘the feds’ in another agency are responsible for stifling business and enterprise. The irony is thick.

This session, an emboldened Republican majority has introduced a few bills which are basically a smokescreen. Bills like this don’t need you to call in and complain about them- they’re not meant to pass. I’ll tell you which one to call in about later in this post.

These bills are worthy of a mention, though, because these people do not care about you as a constituent and are willing to sell you out:

H.R. 861: To Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency
Brown-nosers whose names appear on the original text of this bill:

  • Thomas Massie (KY-4) – In service since 2012. His record indicates he’s not in government to actually make legislation. He also cosponsors a bill to eliminate the Department of Education, which is about as likely to pass as this piece of toilet paper. 
  • Steven Palazzo (MS-4) – In service since 2011. He has enacted about as many laws as Massie and Gaetz, which is to say none.
  • Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) – In service since 2015. Another underperformer.

These four guys, the Republican party probably would not notice being replaced by any other four Republicans.

H.R. 694: Stop EPA Overregulation of Rural Americans Act
This bill is about wood heaters. This bill is a title and one line about wood heaters. This bill is a waste of time and energy, frosted with a jab at the EPA because that helps Republicans look good to people who don’t read the text of bills, which is basically everyone.

Who are these guys wasting our time and money? Glad you asked. Here are the people whose names appear on the original text:

  • Walter Jones (NC-3) – In service since 1995. The more senior legislator Rouzer probably wants his name next to. He co-sponsors more bills than any other Republican in the House, so that was easy. He co-sponsors bills with Republican and Democrat representatives, so it seems like he at least wants to get things done. What things seems to be rather less defined.
  • Rick Crawford (AR-1) – It’s difficult to tell what this guy does with his time.
  • Glenn Grothman (WI-6) – Least bipartisan House freshman, which means he probably doesn’t read very much and is voting based on the R letter next to the sponsor of the bill.
  • Mike Kelly (PA-3) – In service since 2011. Zero laws enacted. 
  • Sean Duffy (WI-7) – On the House Subcommittee for Financial Services. He doesn’t cosponsor bills often, so I don’t really know what he’s doing here.
  • Jimmy Duncan (TN-2) – Since 1988. On two committees. He has a bad track record for attracting co-sponsors, so there’s probably something he wants.
  • Rick Allen (GA-12) – Will vote for anything with an R on it.
  • Bill Huizenga (MI-2) – A real winner. Wants to shoot wolves and sell military hardware to police departments. Unfortunately, he’s good at identifying bills that are likely to get past committees and putting his name on them. This man is not a friend of the environment. His district encompasses the Manistee National Park in Michigan, so one would think sportsmen in his district would get together an push this guy into the lake.
  • Tom O’Halleran (AZ-1) – Just got here in January. Sits on the House Committee for Agriculture.
  • Alex Mooney (WV-2) – His biggest success was getting a bill through the House that would prevent the Department of the Interior from making rules about surface mining near streams. Never passed by the Senate. Also sponsoring a bill on abortion that he knows is not going to pass, because it’s already illegal. This man is wasting your time and money.
  • Robert Latta (OH-5) – This man doesn’t believe climate change is real.


THIS is the real prize, the one you should telephone and write in about. THIS is what they’re hoping to get by you, because it’s long and technical and the title isn’t as flashy as the two piddling bills listed above:

H.R. 637: Stopping EPA Overreach Act of 2017
This is a direct attack on climate change regulation. The entire list of names is thick with people who are not experts in environmental science. In their districts, you will find petrochemical companies and fossil fuel energy generators. Though it’s been assigned to a barely-related committee, and though it’s highly unlikely to pass in its current form, it tells us something very important about the people whose names appear on the bill: they don’t work for us.

This bill would exclude from the legal definition of air pollution: CO2, water vapor (regardless of temperature), Methane, Nitrous oxide, HFCs, Perfluorocarbons, and Sulfur hexafluoride. It also quietly nixes the mercury emissions rule, which does as much for the environment and human health as the exclusion of lead from gasoline.

They follow it up with a sugarcoat about employment at the end, as if it were ever about jobs. It’s not. They will always be able to claim their industry backers will go out of business or not afford to hire people if they’re forced to pay for pollution control measures– that’s bullshit. If a business is really so cash-strapped that it would go out of business when forced to pay for the real clean-up costs of its operations, that’s the free market’s way of saying that business doesn’t need to exist.

The following men are bought and paid for by industry. There is no reason to vote for them ever again. Ctrl-S and type your representative’s last name so you don’t have to scroll through the entire list. Telephone their offices and let them know you disapprove.

  • Alex Mooney (WV-2)
  • Andy Biggs (AZ-5)
  • Ann Wagner (MO-2)
  • Blake Farenthold (TX-27)
  • Bob Gibbs (OH-7)
  • Bob Goodlatte (VA-6)
  • Robert Latta (OH-5)
  • Brad Wenstrup (OH-2)
  • Bradley Byrne (AL-1)
  • Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
  • Brian Babin (TX-36)
  • Bruce Westerman (AR-4)
  • Chuck Fleischmann (TN-3)
  • Daniel Webster (FL-11)
  • Dave Brat (VA-7)
  • David McKinley (WV-1)
  • David Rouzer (NC-7)
  • David Schweikert (AZ-6)
  • David Valadao (CA-21)
  • Devin Nunes (CA-22)
  • Diane Black (TN-6)
  • Doug LaMalfa (CA-1)
  • Doug Lamborn (CO-5)
  • Buddy Carter (GA-1)
  • Evan Jenkins (WV-3)
  • Frank Lucas (OK-3)
  • Glenn Grothman (WI-6)
  • Glenn Thompson (PA-5)
  • Jack Bergman (MI-1)
  • Jason Chaffetz (UT-3)
  • Jason Smith (MO-8)
  • Jeb Hensarling (TX-5)
  • Jeff Duncan (SC-3)
  • Jim Banks (IN-3)
  • Jim Jordan (OH-4)
  • Jody Hice (GA-10)
  • Joe Barton (TX-6)
  • Joe Wilson (SC-2)
  • John Carter (TX-31)
  • John Culberson (TX-7)
  • John Ratcliffe (TX-4)
  • Justin Amash (MI-3)
  • Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
  • Ken Buck (CO-4)
  • Kenny Marchant (TX-24)
  • Kevin Brady (TX-8)
  • Kevin Cramer (ND- at large)
  • Kristi Noem (SD- at large)
  • Lamar Smith (TX-21)
  • Liz Cheney (WY- at large)
  • Lou Barletta (PA-11)
  • Louie Gohmert (TX-1)
  • Luke Messer (IN-6)
  • Mark Meadows (NC-11)
  • Mark Sanford (SC-1)
  • Mark Walker (NC-6)
  • Markwayne Mullin (OK-2)
  • Martha Roby (AL-2)
  • Mike Bishop (MI-8)
  • Mike Kelly (PA-3)
  • Mike Rogers (AL-3)
  • Mimi Walters (CA-45)
  • Mo Brooks (AL-5)
  • Paul Gosar (AZ-4)
  • Pete Olson (TX-22)
  • Pete Sessions (TX-32)
  • Ralph Abraham (LA-5)
  • Randy Hultgren (IL-14)
  • Randy Weber (TX-14)
  • Raul Labrador (ID-1)
  • Rick Allen (GA-12)
  • Eric Crawford (AR-1)
  • Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
  • Robert Pittenger (NC-9)
  • Roger Marshall (KS-1)
  • Roger Williams (TX-25)
  • Sam Johnson (TX-3)
  • Scott Perry (PA-4)
  • Scott Tipton (CO-3)
  • Steve Chabot (OH-1)
  • Steve King (IA-4)
  • Stevan Pearce (NM-2)
  • Steve Scalise (LA-1)
  • Ted Poe (TX-2)
  • Ted Yoho (FL-3)
  • Thomas Massie (KY-4)
  • Todd Rokita (IN-4)
  • Tom Cole (OK-4)
  • Thomas Garrett (VA-5)
  • Tom Marino (PA-10)
  • Thomas Rooney (FL-17)
  • Trent Franks (AZ-8)
  • Vicky Hartzler (MO-4)
  • Walter Jones (NC-3)
  • Warren Davidson (OH-8)
  • James Comer (KY-1)
  • Adrian Smith (NE-3)
  • Bill Huizenga (MI-2)
  • Doug Collins (GA-9)
  • David Roe (TN-1)
  • Jodey Arrington (TX-19)
  • Ted Budd (NC-13)
  • Mia Love (UT-4)
  • Michael Conaway (TX-11)
  • Michael McCaul (TX-10)
  • Paul Mitchell (MI-10)
  • Tom McClintock (CA-4)
  • James Renacci (OH-16)
  • Dennis Ross (FL-15)
  • Trent Kelly (MS-1)
  • Steve Stivers (OH-15)
  • Tom Rice (SC-7)
  • Richard Hudson (NC-8)
  • Marsha Blackburn (TN-7)
  • John Duncan (TN-2)
  • Dan Newhouse (WA-4)
  • Gregg Harper (MS-3)
  • Tim Walberg (MI-7)
  • John Shimkus (IL-15)
  • Tom Graves (GA-14)

Call. Write. Vote.


In Short

A mission statement, kind of.

This blog will host a weekly summary and analysis of legislation related to the environment as it passes through the large intestine that is the U.S. Congress. Names will be named, contact information will be provided, and a weekly list of talking points will be provided.

It is vital that you, as an informed resident of the United States or US citizen abroad, telephone your representatives and voice your concerns. If you get the feeling your representatives aren’t listening to you- well, I guess it’s time to get a new representative.

This blog is maintained for free by a concerned environmental engineer. If you find this site useful, donate any amount to help me keep it going. If enough funds are donated, I will obtain a domain name and host ad-free.