Montana House OKs Plan to Supersede EPA Rules

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The Montana House wants to take control of greenhouse gas regulation from the federal government and curtail state mercury emission rules.

Republicans running the House backed a plan Tuesday forbidding federal greenhouse gas regulations from being enacted in Montana, even though critics argue the Legislature is overstepping its bounds and ignoring science.

Rep. Joe Read’s House Bill 550 was endorsed on a 67-33 vote.

A day earlier, the Ronan Republican failed in separate attempt to get a floor vote on his proposal stating that global warming is a beneficial natural occurrence.

House Republicans did get many Democrats to join them Tuesday in an 80-20 vote forbidding the state from enforcing a mercury rule stricter than federal regulations for the pollutant. Supporters argue the state rule hurts coal projects.

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