Cross-posted from the Wonk Room.
Senate Republicans have introduced legislation to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency, established 40 years ago by President Richard Nixon to give Americans clean air and water. The bill, introduced by Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), would merge the EPA, which enforces environmental laws, with the Department of Energy, which manages nuclear energy and energy research, into one department.
In January, Newt Gingrich proposed abolishing the EPA, and several House Republicans have supported that goal, while making numerous attempts to hamstring limits on industrial polluters. Burr’s statement announcing his bill to eliminate the EPA argues that “duplicative functions” can be eliminated, even though the two departments are completely different:
Burr introduced a bill that would consolidate the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency into a single, new agency called the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE). The bill would provide cost savings by combining duplicative functions while improving the administration of energy and environmental policies by ensuring a coordinated approach.
Burr’s bill has 15 cosponsors, all of them global warming deniers: Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ariz.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), David Vitter (R-La.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Mike Lee (R-Utah).