The House likely will vote on three measures opposing President Obama's environmental agenda this week.
The House Rules Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to take up a measure to delay the Environmental Protection Ageny's new ozone standards, a resolution against a carbon tax and a resolution expressing lawmakers' opposition to Obama's $10.25 tax on a barrel of oil. That could lead to a floor vote on the measures as early as Wednesday.
The Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 would delay the implementation of the EPA's new ozone standards by allowing communities to not be labeled as non-compliant until 2025. It also would change the Clean Air Act by requiring the agency to review ozone standards every 10 years instead of every five years.
In October, the EPA tightened the ozone standard from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The agency estimates most parts of the country should meet that standard by 2025 without changing any of their current practices.
The stricter standards angered industry groups, who think they are too strict, and environmentalists, who believe they didn't go far enough. Environmentalists want the standard dropped to 65 or 60 parts per billion.
However, critics of the standards point out that some wilderness areas, such as Yosemite National Park, do not meet the new standard. They say it's tough for wildnerness areas to reduce their ozone amounts simply because there's no way to reduce pollution.
Ozone is the primary component of smog and can cause respiratory illnesses in children and the elderly, such as making the symptoms of asthma worse.
The bill left the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 18. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Texas, who is the lead sponsor of the bill, said he wants to give states the flexibility he thinks they will need to meet the tightened standard.
"State after state is telling us what we already know. The Clean Air Act is hugely important, but it's also imperfect," Olson said. "This bill is not about changing the fundamentals of the Clean Air Act; this bill recognizes a simple fact. States and EPA need more time."
In addition, the House will take up two resolution proposed by representatives from Louisiana, a major energy producer.
One resolution is proposed by Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., and would express opposition to any sort of carbon tax.
Scalise proposed a similar resolution in 2013, which passed the House but not the Democrat-controlled Senate. The current version was introduced in October and has received support from multiple interest groups.
He said the resolution is meant to show continued opposition to Obama's climate change plans.
"Since day one, the Obama administration has waged an all-out war against American energy, and I'm proud that House Republicans have fought them every step of the way," Scalise said. "I will continue to do everything in my power to combat this president's radical and misguided global warming agenda."
The administration doesn't have any current plans for a carbon tax, which died early on in Obama's presidency. Some Republican critics say the Clean Power Plan, the administration's regulations on new and existing coal power plants, act as a sort of carbon tax.
The final resolution would express opposition to Obama's proposed $10.25 tax on a barrel of oil.
Obama proposed the idea in his budget, but it didn't make it into either the House or Senate energy and water funding bills. Still, the resolution proposed by Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., will see time on the floor this week.
Boustany introduced the resolution in February, shortly after it was proposed by the administration, and he called it "dead wrong."
"The president wants to fund his environmental agenda on the backs of hard-working Louisiana families in the oil and gas sector, and that is dead wrong," he said. "I won't stand by and watch the president run over these families with a tax that will be passed on at the pump."