[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 146 (2000), Part 9]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages 12907-12908]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

                   AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2001


                               speech of

                          HON. JOE KNOLLENBERG

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                         Monday, June 26, 2000

       The House in Committee of the Whole House on the State of 
     the Union had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4690) making 
     appropriations for the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and 
     State, the Judiciary, and related agencies for the fiscal 
     year ending September 30, 2001, and for other purposes.

  Mr. KNOLLENBERG. Mr. Speaker, I would like to include in the Record 
for the Commerce/State/Justice Appropriations bill a letter with 
legislative history of the Clean Air Act reported by Congressman John 
Dingell who was the Chairman of the House Conference on the Clean Air 
Act amendments of 1990. No one knows the Clean Air Act like Congressman 
  He makes clear, and I quote, ``Congress has not enacted implementing 
legislation authorizing EPA or any other agency to regulate greenhouse 

                                                  October 5, 1999.
     Hon. David M. McIntosh,

Chairman, Subcommittee on National Economic Growth, Natural Resources, 
and Regulatory Affairs, Committee on Government Reform, Washington, DC.

       Dear Mr. Chairman: I understand that you have asked, based 
     on discussions between our staffs, about the disposition by 
     the House-Senate conferees of the amendments in 1990 to the 
     Clean Air Act (CAA) regarding greenhouse gases such as 
     methane and carbon dioxide. In making this inquiry, you call 
     my attention to an April 10, 1998 Environmental Protection 
     Agency (EPA) memorandum entitled ``EPA's Authority to 
     Regulate Pollutants Emitted by Electric Power Generation

[[Page 12908]]

     Sources'' and an October 12, 1998 memorandum entitled ``The 
     Authority of EPA to Regulate Carbon Dioxide Under the Clean 
     Air Act'' prepared for the National Mining Association. The 
     latter memorandum discusses the legislative history of the 
     1990 amendments.
       First, the House-passed bill (H.R. 3030) never included any 
     provision regarding the regulation of any greenhouse gas, 
     such as methane or carbon dioxide, nor did the bill address 
     global climate change. The House, however, did include 
     provisions aimed at implementing the Montreal Protocol on 
     Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
       Second, as to the Senate version (S. 1630) of the proposed 
     amendments, the October 12, 1998 memorandum correctly points 
     out that the Senate did address greenhouse gas matters and 
     global warming, along with provisions implementing the 
     Montreal Protocol. Nevertheless, only Montreal Protocol 
     related provisions were agreed to by the House-Senate 
     conferees (see Conf. Rept. 101-952, Oct. 26, 1990).
       However, I should point out that Public Law 101-549 of 
     November 15, 1990, which contains the 1990 amendments to the 
     CAA, includes some provisions, such as sections 813, 817 and 
     819-821, that were enacted as free-standing provisions 
     separate from the CAA. Although the Public Law often refers 
     to the ``Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,'' the Public Law 
     does not specify that reference as the ``short title'' of all 
     of the provisions included the Public Law.
       One of these free-standing provisions, section 821, 
     entitled ``Information Gathering on Greenhouse Gases 
     contributing to Global Climate Change'' appears in the United 
     States code as a ``note'' (at 42 U.S.C. 7651k). It requires 
     regulations by the EPA to ``monitor carbon dioxide 
     emissions'' from ``all affected sources subject to title V'' 
     of the CAA and specifies that the emissions are to be 
     reported to the EPA. That section does not designate carbon 
     dioxide as a ``pollutant'' for any purpose.
       Finally, Title IX of the Conference Report, entitled 
     ``Clean Air Research,'' was primarily negotiated at the time 
     by the House and Senate Science Committees, which had no 
     regulatory jurisdiction under House-Senate Rules. This title 
     amended section 103 of the CAA by adding new subsections (c) 
     through (k). New subsection (g), entitled ``Pollution 
     Prevention and Control,'' calls for ``non-regulatory 
     strategies and technologies for air pollution prevention.'' 
     While it refers, as noted in the EPA memorandum, to carbon 
     dioxide as a ``pollutant,'' House and Senate conferees never 
     agreed to designate carbon dioxide as a pollutant for 
     regulatory or other purposes.
       Based on my review of this history and my recollection of 
     the discussions, I would have difficulty concluding that the 
     House-Senate conferees, who rejected the Senate regulatory 
     provisions (with the exception of the above-referenced 
     section 821), contemplated regulating greenhouse gas 
     emissions or addressing global warming under the Clean Air 
     Act. Shortly after enactment of Public Law 101-549, the 
     United Nations General Assembly established in December 1990 
     the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee that ultimately 
     led to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which was 
     ratified by the United States after advice and consent by the 
     Senate. That Convention is, of course, not self-executing, 
     and the Congress has not enacted implementing legislation 
     authorizing EPA or any other agency to regulate greenhouse 
       I hope that this is responsive.
       With best wishes,
                                                  John D. Dingell,
     Ranking Member.