Washington, D.C.- Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), introduced today the Comprehensive Assessment of Regulations on the Economy (CARE) Act, which requires the Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with other relevant federal departments and agencies, to determine the total cost of several major rules EPA is preparing to issue.
To date, EPA has refused to conduct an analysis examining the total economic impact of its rules on jobs; retail electricity rates and gasoline prices; power plant closures; state and local governments; small businesses; electric reliability; and energy-intensive manufacturers.
Senator Inhofe: "EPA continues to propose and promulgate rules at a break-neck pace without a complete and accurate understanding of their impacts on consumers, jobs, and small businesses. EPA's proposed utility MACT today could, by itself, shut down up to 20 percent of America's coal-fired power capacity. When you add in all of the rules and regulations from EPA's cap-and-trade agenda, the outlook for jobs and economic growth looks dire.
"This bill is about transparency: the public needs to know the full cost of these rules and the impacts when they fill up at the pump and flip the light switch. It will also help guide and inform Congress as it decides how best to deal with the unprecedented barrage of rules coming out of EPA."
Senator Johanns: "This is a very simple effort to get the federal government to weigh the impact of EPA's regulatory regime on job creation and the overall economy. It would infuse common sense into an agency that seems to be in dire need of it. Our country's ag producers, families and job creators deserve to know the cost of the rules being aimed directly at them."
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