In case there was any doubt, the White House on Tuesday issued a formal statement opposing a bill now before the House that would bar the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases for the purpose of combating climate change.
The bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, could come up for a vote as early as Wednesday and is almost certain to pass when it does. It has virtually unanimous support among the Republican majority and will probably draw votes from a few Democrats from coal and oil producing states.
The measure, sponsored by Representatives Fred Upton, Republican of Michigan, and Ed Whitfield, Republican of Washington, would overturn the E.P.A.’s finding that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases pose a danger to human health and the environment. That finding, based on a broad scientific consensus, is the basis for pending regulation of carbon emissions from vehicles and large stationary sources like power plants, factories and refineries.
Republicans assert the new rules are a hidden energy tax that will significantly raise production costs and drive jobs offshore.
Administration officials have spoken out against the bill in speeches and congressional testimony, but President Obama had not formally threatened to veto it. On Tuesday, the White House issued a strongly worded statement that erases any doubt.