Thursday, July 24, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;76.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/sct.png;2014-07-24 13:41:59
Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bass, Guinta differ over GOP-sponsored environmental package

WASHINGTON – Despite
sharing a partisan affiliation, Republican Reps. Charles Bass and Frank Guinta, of New Hampshire, have found themselves on opposite sides of environmental issue votes on several occasions during the last Congress.

It happened again Friday, as the House – on a mostly party-line vote of 233-175 – approved a package of proposals in response to what Republican leaders have called President Barack Obama’s “war on coal.” ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

WASHINGTON – Despite
sharing a partisan affiliation, Republican Reps. Charles Bass and Frank Guinta, of New Hampshire, have found themselves on opposite sides of environmental issue votes on several occasions during the last Congress.

It happened again Friday, as the House – on a mostly party-line vote of 233-175 – approved a package of proposals in response to what Republican leaders have called President Barack Obama’s “war on coal.”

Bass was among 13 Republicans to join 162 Democrats in opposition to the measure. Guinta was one of 214 Republicans to support it, along with 19 Democrats.

“Today’s legislation was not right for New Hampshire, and I could not support it,” Bass said in a statement after the vote. “This legislation once again included language that … would weaken important clean air protections that would help to keep mercury and other toxins out of the air we breathe.”

Guinta was in transit Friday afternoon, according to his spokesman, and was unable to comment.

Bass’ and Guinta’s differing positions reflect their votes on related legislation over the last two years during the course of the 112th Congress. In fact, several such measures were reprised in the legislation debated Friday.

Title III of the bill shares the name and content of the so-called TRAIN (Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation) Act that passed the House in September 2011.

Like the TRAIN Act, Title III would require formation of a committee to analyze and report the costs and benefits to the U.S. energy industry of certain rules issued under the nation’s Clean Air Act.

The committee would be tasked with assessing the impact of rules promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on global economic competitiveness and domestic employment.

But Bass said the latest legislation would further delay the rules on mercury and air toxins and cross-state air pollution – a concern he also voiced during last year’s debates.

Referring to air pollution carried to the Northeast from the Midwest, Bass characterized New England as “the tailpipe of the nation” – and contended that rules required by the Clean Air Act provide important protection, particularly for his state.

The legislation debated Friday, commonly referred to as “The Stop the War on Coal Act,” includes two other proposals that cleared the House in 2011 but which haven’t gained the approval of the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Democrats and environmental advocacy groups have dismissed the act as a “message bill” that also has no chance in the Senate – and which is merely intended to boost the GOP in the coming election in swing states reliant on the coal industry.

But Republicans supporting the bill said it would stop the EPA from using the Clean Air Act to impose regulations on so-called greenhouse gas emissions that drive up energy costs and eliminate jobs.

“Throughout the country, hardworking coal miners and utility plant workers are losing their jobs because of this president’s radical environmental policies,” Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, the legislation’s sponsor, declared during debate on the bill.

Helping to lead opposition to the bill, Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., focused on the environmental and economic advantages of natural gas and renewable energy. Markey said the marketplace, not the president, is harming the coal industry.

“It’s not a war, it’s a revolution,” Markey charged of the Republican proposal.