GOP Says EPA Report Foreshadows Obama Climate Deal

Posted December 7, 2009 at 6:20pm

House Republican leaders said they believe the Obama administration’s Monday release of a report identifying greenhouse gases as harmful to the American people was another indication that the White House plans to commit the United States to new emission standards during the climate change conference in Copenhagen.GOP leaders said that new emission standards would kill American jobs and that President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen show his priorities are misplaced.Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Monday’s Environmental Protection Agency report on greenhouse gases also signaled that the White House would soon seek to push Congress to finish Democratic climate change legislation that passed the House earlier this year but has stalled in the Senate. “The timing of this announcement is yet another indication President Obama is preparing to unilaterally commit the United States to mandatory emissions cuts at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen,— Boehner said in a statement. “If the President truly believes these job-killing mandates are in the nation’s best interests, he should slow down and first seek the advice and consent of the people’s elected representatives.—GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) said it was “inappropriate— for Obama to commit the United States to any changes in emissions standards. “You don’t negotiate a treaty before you go to war,— Pence told Roll Call. “There is no national consensus on the subject of global warming or the cap-and-trade legislation, so for the president to travel overseas and make commitments, or make promises, or engage in negotiations on behalf of the American people … I’d say is inappropriate.— The president plans to go to Copenhagen on Dec. 18, the final day of the two-week conference. Asked whether Obama should attend the conference, Pence said, “I don’t think so. I think the president should stay home, roll his sleeves up and work with Republicans and Democrats on legislation to get this economy moving again.—Boehner, Pence and several other House Republicans sent a letter to the White House last week to demand that the administration clarify the role of the U.S. negotiators in Copenhagen. “Congress has the sole responsibility to approve such a program and as such we would like clarification that U.S. negotiators will not commit our government to an emissions reduction protocol at Copenhagen,— the letter said.But while House Republicans pilloried the White House for releasing the report on the first day of the climate change conference, Democrats praised Obama for strengthening the case for energy efficiency. “As world leaders gather in Copenhagen to map out a strategy for a cleaner, more energy-efficient future, there has never been greater momentum for change — or a stronger case for why it is so imperative,— Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement. “Today’s EPA announcement that greenhouse gas emissions pose a significant threat both to public health and the environment gives greater urgency to the need to act.—