(Host) Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling could give Congress more leeway in addressing climate change. Vermont Congressman Peter Welch will be one of the lawmakers charged with seeing that the EPA does their job.
From Capitol Hill, Terry Gildea reports:
(Gildea) Welch was in Burlington promoting the states renewable energy industry when he heard about the court ruling. He says the Supreme Court lived up to its obligation despite heavy political pressure on both sides of the issue.
(Welch) “It’s terrific news. It means we have a fighting chance to have the EPA to start doing what it needs to do – protect the environment and the health of the American people. This is a very conservative Supreme Court that has said the obvious and that is that these carbon emissions are dangerous to health and the government has a right. I’m going to argue an obligation to protect the health of the public from the adverse consequences.”
(Gildea) The court ruling defined greenhouse gases as pollutants. That could pave the way for lawmakers to move legislation that could reduce auto emissions and other carbon based toxins. But it’s also up to Congress to see that the EPA fulfills its regulatory role. Welch says members will offer solutions to climate change problems and enforce the courts decision.
(Welch) “We can be aggressive, partly with oversight. What we’re promoting is a view that we can have a pro growth, pro high-tech, pro national security approach to addressing global warming.”
(Gildea) The Vermont congressional delegation is poised to play a big role in affecting climate change. Senator Bernie Sanders holds a seat on the Environment Committee, where many bills dealing with the issue will originate. Welch sits on the House Committee on Oversight one of the groups that will keep an eye on the EPA.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Terry Gildea on Capitol Hill.