Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) Monday introduced broad legislation that seeks to block the Obama administration's regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources without specific authorization from Congress.

"It's time for the administration to face the facts: Americans rejected cap-and-trade [last year] because they know it means higher energy prices and jobs. Washington agencies are now trying a backdoor approach to regulate our climate by abusing existing laws," Barrasso said.

"My bill will shrink Washington's job-crushing agenda and grow America's economy. I will do whatever it takes to ensure that Washington doesn't impose cap-and-trade policies in any form."

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, which represents interstate natural gas pipelines, supports Barrasso's bill. "It's too important an issue to leave in the hands of government bureaucrats," a spokeswoman said.

One of the bill's seven co-sponsors is Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), who plans to unveil a separate bill with House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) to take away the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority to limit carbon emissions from power plans, refineries and other stationary sources, The New York Times reported.

The debate over the EPA's authority over GHG emissions promises to be a divisive issue in the 112th Congress.

The Barrasso bill would halt the EPA's efforts to regulate GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act. The legislation also would preclude legal actions against sources of greenhouse gases solely based on their possible contribution to climate change.

The bill would allow for the continuation of regulation of mobile sources such as cars and trucks, but by the Department of Transportation, not the EPA. Also, the measure stipulated than any greenhouse gas that is a direct threat to human health would still be regulated, just not solely based on climate change.

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