Cross-posted from the Wonk Room.
Last night, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) proposed an amendment to the Continuing Resolution that would “sharply cut funding for an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program that collects data on industrial greenhouse gas emissions.” The $8.4 million cut would leave funding for the registry at $3.2 million, unless the EPA shifts funds from another program to the registry.
Toeing a fine line between conspiracy theorist and Koch Industries profit protector, Pompeo took the house floor where “he called the registry part of an EPA plot to destroy U.S. jobs“:
EPA would, I am sure, tell you that they are simply collecting a little bit of data on greenhouse gases, that this registry is simply a very innocent effort to learn a little bit more about who is emitting greenhouse gases — who or what.
But this data is the very foundation of the EPA’s effort to pursue its radical anti-jobs agenda. Indeed, continuing the greenhouse gas registry at currently funded levels will permit the EPA regulatory nose inside the job-destroying tent. We cannot head down this path.
The amendment passed in a 239-185 vote.
Despite the Koch-approved rhetoric, even fellow Republicans found the bill to be poorly crafted. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) — who apparently is incredibly frightened by the EPA’s quest to keep our air clean — originally supported the amendment, but after talking to businesses, decided to vote nay, because the business community “told him the greenhouse gas registry was a useful compliance tool for them.”
Pompeo is the congressman “spawned by ‘Kochtopus‘” and “essentially a subsidiary of the Koch brothers’ business empire.” He made his fortune off of a Koch backed company, sidled up to Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity in his 2010 campaign, signed the AFP anti-climate change pledge, took more campaign contributions from Koch Industries than any other candidate in 2010, and hired on an ex-Koch lobbyist to be his chief of staff. In fact, Koch Industries even ranked at top of Pompeo’s campaign contribution list, outpacing the second top contributor by $60,000.
So it’s no surprise that the representative from Koch took to the House floor to champion one of Koch Industries’ top causes — stripping the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Pompeo earned a plush position on the House Energy and Commerce Committee From Koch, and quickly went to work to do the big polluter’s bidding.