Inhofe Says EPA Endangerment Finding Will Destroy Jobs, Harm Consumers
April 17, 2009

Contact: Matt Dempsey matt_dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797

Inhofe Says EPA Endangerment Finding Will Destroy Jobs, Harm Consumers

"It's the beginning of a regulatory barrage that will destroy jobs, raise energy prices for consumers, and undermine America's global competitiveness."

WASHINGTON, DC - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said today that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed endangerment finding will unleash a torrent of regulations that will destroy jobs, harm consumers, and extend the agency's reach into every corner of American life. Despite enormous expense and hardship for the American economy, these regulations will have virtually no effect on climate change.

"Today's action by the EPA is the beginning of a regulatory barrage that will destroy jobs, raise energy prices for consumers, and undermine America's global competitiveness," Senator Inhofe said. "It now appears EPA's regulatory reach will find its way into schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and just about any activity that meets minimum thresholds in the Clean Air Act.  Rep. John Dingell was right: the endangerment finding will produce a ‘glorious mess.'

"It's worth noting that the solution to this ‘glorious mess' is not for Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation, which replaces one very bad approach with another. Congress should pass a simple, narrowly-targeted bill that stops EPA in its tracks." 

Read More From the Inhofe EPW Press Office about Potential Impacts of Endangerment Finding

Endangering Farmers, the Elderly, and Construction Workers: Once EPA makes a finding that greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare under the Clean Air Act, who, specifically, would be affected?  As EPA's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) makes clear, an endangerment finding would lead to regulations covering nearly every facet of the American economy.  In reading through comments filed in the regulatory docket, one is struck by how broadly the Clean Air Act would apply once an endangerment finding is made-especially to sources that have hitherto never come under the ambit of the Act.  EPA received thousands of public comments from various industries and groups that expressed concern and outright opposition-on issues of cost, competitiveness, jobs, and administrative complexity-to greenhouse gas regulation under the CAA.

AN "HISTORIC" DAY: EPA's finding is indeed historic news, for the simple fact that it will enlarge EPA's regulatory reach to an unprecedented degree, extending it into every corner of the US economy, causing enormous economic damage.  According to Peter Glaser, a national legal expert on the Clean Air Act, an endangerment finding will lead to new EPA regulations covering virtually everything, including "office buildings, apartment buildings, warehouse and storage buildings, educational buildings, health care buildings such as hospitals and assisted living facilities, hotels, restaurants, religious worship buildings, public assembly buildings, supermarkets, retail malls, agricultural facilities...and many others."  An array of new development projects could be delayed, perhaps for several years, causing "an economic train wreck."  This conclusion was supported recently by the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, which found that EPA's new carbon regulations would destroy over 800,000 jobs and result in a cumulative GDP loss of $7 trillion by 2029. 

Risky Legal Schemes: "...hospitals, schools, farms, commercial buildings, and a host of other small sources emit more than 250 tons per year of CO2-a limit expressly mentioned in the statute-they will be required, once an endangerment finding is made and CO2 becomes a regulated pollutant, to obtain costly, burdensome pre-construction permits for their activities...Further, Glaser notes that "the statutory language is mandatory and does not leave any room for EPA to exercise discretion or create exceptions."  Link   In short, unless Congress exempts them, there's no way out for schools, assisted living facilities, and thousands upon thousands of small businesses."

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