NEW YORK — For the first time, a U.S. House bill requiring companies to provide data on climate and pollution risks has cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The bill, the Clean Power Plan, would require companies to disclose what the impact of climate change is on their operations and the environmental costs of their actions.
It also would require the Environmental Protection Agency to establish an Office of Air and Radiation and a climate change advisory council.
The House Energy Committee has scheduled a hearing on the bill at 10 a.m.
Thursday in the New York City borough of Manhattan.
Rep. Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat and a sponsor of the bill, said the measure would help companies better understand what they’re putting into the air and how it’s affecting the environment.
“There are so many unknowns, especially if we’re dealing with climate change, that companies are going to have to start to plan for,” Pocan said.
The proposed bill has been met with skepticism from both Democrats and Republicans.
Republican Rep. Tom Cole, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said he believes companies would use the bill to try to limit the impacts of climate impacts.
“I do think they will use this bill to go after the EPA and the Obama administration for its environmental regulation,” Cole said.
But Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said the bill would “give power to corporations to say we’re going to go ahead and say, ‘Oh, we’re not going to do anything to reduce carbon emissions.'”
Barrasso, who has not yet seen the bill but has been briefed on its contents, said businesses will likely respond to the legislation by reducing their carbon footprint.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committees have been holding a series of hearings on climate impacts and regulations that could be required to meet the Clean Energy and Investment Act, which passed the House last week with bipartisan support.
The legislation has not been sent to President Donald Trump, who is considering whether to sign it into law.