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GOP readies attack on Biden air pollution rule

Feb 22, 2024
illustration of smokestacks surrounded by legal symbols and circles

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

House Republicans are going after a key Biden air pollution rule under the Congressional Review Act, Jael has learned.

Why it matters: Passage would nullify the rule involving soot and potentially make similar regulations impossible.

  • We can imagine this passing the House. The Senate, though, is another ballgame.

Driving the news: With House E&C's backing, Rep. Rick Allen is preparing a CRA resolution to invalidate the EPA's new rule on particulate matter — an air pollutant referred to as PM2.5.

  • A spokesman for Allen said he will introduce the measure "any day now."
  • An E&C committee aide said panel leadership has blessed the effort.

Catch up quick: The EPA's trying to regulate PM2.5 in a bid to improve public health.

The big picture: Particulate matter can be very dangerous when inhaled. It is also released from many places, making regulation a particularly touchy subject to many industries.

  • PM2.5 is often emitted from industrial sites and forest fire smoke. (If you remember choking on last summer's air, it made up some of what you were inhaling.)
  • In high enough quantities, PM2.5 exposure is linked with potentially lethal health conditions, including cancers. That's not counting childhood exposure.

Of note: CRAs not only undo a rule but also make it impossible to write "substantially the same" regulations.

  • It's not immediately clear how this effort would impact the EPA's overall ability to regulate particulate matter.
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