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Ernst accuses Biden of using enviro policy as ‘smokescreen’ for regulations, introduces bill for EPA oversight

FIRST ON FOX: Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, introduced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Transparency Act in order to fight against federal overreach and require the Biden administration to be more transparent about its climate agenda.

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Ernst, who sits on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, hopes the new bill will increase oversight over regulations by President Biden’s EPA on Iowa’s farmers and small businesses.

“President Biden has continued to use environmental concerns as a smokescreen to impose more onerous federal rules and regulations, often to the detriment of Iowa’s farmers and small businesses,” Ernst said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

The EPA Transparency Act would require every new rule from the EPA that increases the role of the federal government over an individual’s private land and property to be accompanied by two reports. 

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The first report would require the EPA to provide data to support claims that the rule would actually be addressing climate change. The second would ask for an analysis on how the rule would affect small businesses financially. The completed reports would be made available to the public and sent to Congress.

The senator believes that “this new effort will increase oversight and transparency and hold the Biden administration accountable – ensuring they both demonstrate the need for any new regulation and understand its impact on Americans.”

Ernst’s office pointed to the Biden administration’s claim behind the repeal of Trump administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, that it caused environmental damage and harm. Iowa’s farmers reportedly did not see any environmental damage on the ground, and neither the EPA, nor the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has provided Ernst and her colleagues evidence or documented any “damage and harm.”

In addition, the focus of the Biden administration on electric vehicles, saying they are the “zero emission” solution to energy, is another Biden administration ploy, according to Ernst. 

China dominates the extraction of rare earth minerals vital to the production of an electric vehicle, and does so in a manner that is far from zero-emissions and not in line with the United States’ strict environmental regulations on extraction. Before an electric vehicle leaves the showroom, it has already emitted twice the CO2 emissions of a car fueled by gasoline, so the administration is ignoring a major part of lifecycle emissions and pouring billions of dollars into electric transportation under the guise of fighting climate change, says Ernst’s office.

The EPA did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Ernst’s proposed legislation.

Treasure Secretary Janet Yellen speaks at the U.N. Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 3, 2021.

This new bill also comes after Republican Study Committee (RSC) head Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to investigate whether Russia secretly funded U.S. green groups.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans also recently called on three environmental groups to disclose their ties to a non-governmental organization that is reportedly used by President Vladimir Putin.

These efforts come in the midst of the horrific Russia-Ukraine war, encouraging more lawmakers to question the Biden administration’s ties to Russia and also spurring efforts to bring energy production back to the U.S.

Fox News’ Kelly Laco and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.

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