Ah, such a tease! I can’t say I have much faith that, the way things stand right now, this bill will make it through untouched, but it’s beautiful to think about nonetheless.

A House committee has managed to advance a 2013 spending bill that would impose deep cuts and restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency.

The bill cuts EPA by $1.4 billion, about 17 percent, compared to current funding. The GOP points out that this brings the EPA below fiscal 1998 funding.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), who hails from coal country, said he is especially proud of the measure, which was advanced from subcommittee to the full spending panel on a voice vote.

“This represents the strong concerns of this Congress over the EPA’s unprecedented effort to drive certain industries to extinction with a cocktail of burdensome regulations, questionable guidance policies, and arbitrary enforcement measures — all designed to shut down the permitting process for energy exploration and production,” he said.

It contains a number of environmental riders, including one to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases using New Source Performance Standards and one stopping EPA from expanding its ability to regulate “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act.

The bill contains several riders, including one that would stop the EPA from using the New Source Performance Standards to regulate greenhouse gases and another that would prevent them from expanding their authority to regulate “navigable waters” under the Clean Water Act (case in point: That one was their excuse for crucifying — woops, I meant persecuting — an Idaho couple in the egregious case of Sackett v. EPA).

I’ve made no secret of my unadulterated disdain for the Environmental Protection Agency — while I think there can be such a thing as effective government environmental regulation, the EPA is a wildly intrusive, power-tripping, practically unbridled band of overzealous environmentalist crusaders who are often conveniently disallowed from considering the costs of their policies because they ostensibly have only the public’s best interest in mind. Their frivolous litigation, crippling sanctions, and uncertainty-inducing agenda are some of the more significant obstacles our economy faces.

I daren’t even consider the possibility that the EPA could someday be eliminated (le sigh…), but the thought of at least watching them take any kind of a hit that could rein in some of their wanton regulatory ways, instead of being allowed to metastasize even more, pleases me to no end. (Especially since, you know, we’ve been operating at above trillion-dollar deficits and a lot of stuff has just got to go.)

Politico and certain Democrats have labeled Republicans’ various efforts to put the brakes on some of the EPA’s forthcoming rules and regulations as an “attack”:

Oh, and there were at least 10 — count ’em 10 — Capitol Hill hearings and markups on environmental matters Tuesday.

This week is just the latest round of a Republican attack that has forced the White House to hold back on new environmental regulations, lawmakers say — at least for now.

“They have slowed down some of that stuff, but it’s only until after the election,” Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said. “After that, it’s going to be scary.” …

“The unrelenting attacks by the Republicans on environmental protection, I think, have caused people in the administration to be careful to pick their fights,” said California Rep. Henry Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

You’re dang straight it’s an attack — I should hope that Republicans keep on engaging in a full-frontal assault on the out-of-control independent agency that manages to kill jobs and opportunities like its their sole purpose in life.