US bill threatens to revoke environmental standards
The US House of Representatives approved a bill on Friday that would remove much of the regulation of the coal industry, threatening the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power to curb emissions from power plants.
The Stop the War on Coal Act won by 233 votes to 175, including 19 Democrats, would also do away with other air emissions regulations and environmental controls on controversial mountain top mining.
Supporters of the bill claim that regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is driving generators to close power plants putting jobs at risk.
But the bill is unlikely to be passed by the Senate and the White House has threatened to veto it if it does.
However, the Senate has passed a bill to prevent US airlines complying with the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, which now covers aviation emissions.
The US, along with China, Russia and India, accuse the EU of breaching international treaties by forcing airlines to take part in the scheme.
Earlier this year, US airlines dropped their action against the EU over the plans and urged politicians to take up the fight instead. President Barack Obama will now have to decide whether to back the bill and risk a trade war with Europe or veto it and face the music at home.