Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) thinks that the EPA is “the scariest agency in the federal government.” He told reporters that earlier this year. On July 7, Simpson, as part of the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee, voted for a spending bill that reduces EPA funding by 18 percent ($1.5 billion). The spending bill, which was approved eight to five along party lines, would also reduce funds to Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds by 55 percent and 14 percent.
During Simpson’s remarks at the subcommittee’s hearing, he mentioned his previous remarks about the EPA. “I still believe that,” Simpson said. “The EPA’s unrestrained effort to regulate greenhouse gases, and the pursuit of an overly aggressive regulatory agenda, are signs of an agency that has lost its bearing.”
It should not come as a surprise to Simpson’s constituents that he is anti-EPA. During his six terms (he is currently serving his seventh) as Idaho’s 2nd District congressional representative, he has consistently voted against bills that would help the environment. Going back to 2001, Simpson voted against a bill that would have prohibited in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The bill did not pass.
Here are some other bills that Simpson voted against:
- The Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) Amendment of 2001 would have increased fuel efficiency standards
- The Outer Continental Shelf Amendment of 2006 would have prohibited natural gas drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf
- The Renewable Energy Standards amendment of 2006 would have required retail electric suppliers to supply 15 percent of their electricity through renewable resources by 2020
- Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007 established royalty payments and requires permits for mineral mining operations and imposes penalties for environmental protection violations
- Trade-in vouchers for fuel efficient cars (2009)
Simpson co-signed a letter to the EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, dated June 30, 2011. The letter, co-signed by 14 House Republicans, urged Jackson to stop any attempt to bypass the Congress to expand the Clean Water Act. The letter told Jackson, “We do not believe you have any authority to issue such guidance.”
The letter demonstrates that Simpson is not the only House Republican who wants to gut the EPA. He is, however, one that typifies what the GOP would do, if left unchecked, to the EPA.