HOUSE GOP EYES PLAN TO GUT EPA, CLEAN AIR ACT…. This afternoon, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee will host an event focused on job-creating proposals.

Around the same time, House Republicans will unveil their latest legislative priority, which, you guessed it, isn’t related to reducing unemployment.

In a sharp challenge to the Obama administration, House Republican leaders intend to unveil legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, officials said. They expect to advance the bill quickly. […]

Officials said the House bill, which was to be offered Wednesday, would nullify all of the steps the EPA has taken to date on the issue, including a finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health.

In addition, it seeks to strip the agency of its authority to use the law in any future attempts to crack down on the emissions from factories, utilities and other stationary sources.

This is nothing short of pathetic. Putting aside the lengths Republicans will go to in order to avoid working on creating jobs, they have to know this bill would be vetoed by President Obama, as it should.

It’s also striking to realize that, literally just a few years ago, it was fairly common for GOP leaders to acknowledge the reality of global warming and endorse efforts to combat the climate crisis. Now, the party is practically united in its belief that the entirety of climate science is a communist plot; the EPA and the Clean Air Act deserve to be gutted; and the problem deserves no response whatsoever. It’s not as if Republicans prefer an alternative approach — their policy is “do nothing” and let polluters do whatever they want.

These Republican efforts are as misguided as they are dangerous. Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Air Act, and told the agency to enforce regulations. The Supreme Court concluded in 2007 that the EPA has the authority to act to regulate greenhouse gases. Now, Republicans are intent on making sure EPA can’t exercise its own powers, all because the right doesn’t understand global warming.

This is just crazy.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.