Washington, D.C.-Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today applauded the passage in the House of the TRAIN Act. This bill mirrors the Comprehensive Assessment of Regulations on the Economy (CARE) Act, which was introduced in March by Senator Inhofe and Senator Johanns (R-NE), Ranking Member of the EPW Subcommittee on Oversight. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in conjunction with other relevant federal departments and agencies, to determine the total cost and the impact on the economy of several major rules the Agency is preparing to issue.
"I applaud the passage in the House of the TRAIN Act - a bill that brings us one step closer to putting the brakes on EPA's runaway regulatory train, which is currently on a path to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs and cause electricity shortages across the country," Senator Inhofe said.
"As we look for every opportunity to cut costs in government, the focus is often on spending and taxes. But what most people don't realize is that the cost of regulation is just as damaging to our economy. The only difference is that it's currently less detectible. This bill finally brings the full costs of EPA's forthcoming regulations to light so that the Agency can no longer hide the extent to which its rules will harm jobs, consumers, and small businesses.
"Over the past few months, Senate Democrats have gone on record in various ways to rein in the EPA; now even President Obama is facing up to the fact that the Agency's rules are placing severe financial burdens on our economy. There is no doubt that the $90 billion annual pricetag of EPA's proposed tightening of the ozone standard was a key factor in his decision to ask Administrator Jackson to withdraw the rule.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass legislation that will finally detail the enormous costs of EPA's overregulation, and hold the Agency accountable for all pending train wreck rules, which are unprecedented in the harm they pose to the American economy."
Background on the CARE Act, companion legislation to the TRAIN Act
The CARE bill would establish a federal committee, led by the Department of Commerce, to conduct this analysis. The committee would include, among others, the EPA Administrator, the Secretaries of Agriculture, Energy, Defense, and Labor, the Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, as well as the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration. The committee would examine the economic impacts of several EPA regulations on:
- employment, including job levels in each segment of the economy and each region of the United States, including coal-producing regions;
- economic development, including production levels and labor demands in manufacturing, commercial, and other sectors of the economy;
- the electric power sector, including potential impacts on electric reliability, energy security, and retail electricity rates;
- the domestic refining and petrochemical sector, including potential impacts on supply, international competitiveness, and wholesale and retail transportation fuels, heating oil and petrochemicals prices; and
- State and local governments, including potential impacts on governmental operations and local communities from any reductions in State and local tax revenues
The rules the committee would examine would include, among others:
- Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for power plants;
- National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter and ozone;
- New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gases covering utilities and refineries;
- Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) preconstruction review permits for greenhouse gases;
- Cooling water intake structures under 316(b) of the Clean Water Act
- Regional Haze; and
- Coal Combustion Waste under the Solid Waste Disposal Act