If the Environmental Protection Agency decides to issue regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emission, it will do so "thoughtfully and carefully," and any regulatory efforts should not be viewed as pressure on Congress to act on climate-change legislation, says EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy.

Speaking at a recent university-sponsored forum, McCarthy said any regulatory action the agency takes should not be seen "as a method of forcing legislation to move forward that isn't deliberate, that doesn't allow Congress to act as Congress wants to act."

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McCarthy also said EPA should be given credit for its history relative to the Clean Air Act and said the agency wouldn't pursue regulations that are "not workable ...  that would be a significant burden to the economy."

Legislation to block EPA from regulating on greenhouse gas emissions has been introduced in both the House and Senate, although at least the Senate plan, even if approved, would almost certainly be vetoed by President Obama.