Santa Barbara’s Congressmember Lois Capps repeatedly found herself on the short end of the stick this week on a series of committee votes dealing with climate change and air pollution control that fell largely along party lines. The Republican majority on the Energy and Commerce Committee—on which Capps serves—defeated a Democrat-backed bill that would have formally accepted the scientific consensus that climate change is, in fact, occurring. Capps supported the bill. Likewise, the Republicans beat back a similar measure that would have endorsed the proposition that greenhouse gas emissions are the root cause of climate change.
Last week, the same committee voted in favor of a measure, authored by committee chair Fred Upton (R-MI), to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its legal authority to impose any regulations based on the possibility of climate change. The Upton bill would also deny the State of California the legal authority to impose restrictions on tailpipe emissions above and beyond that approved by the EPA. Capps has embraced the science behind climate change, and spoke out in favor of California’s more stringent standards.