Stopping EPA’s Takeover of Policy — and the Economy

The National Association of Manufacturers today sent a “Key Vote” letter to U.S. Senators expressing manufacturers’ support for S.J.Res. 26, the resolution of disapproval to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions without Congressional approval. From the letter:

Manufacturers support a comprehensive, federal climate policy within a framework that will cause no economic harm while granting sufficient time to deploy low-carbon technologies, such as carbon capture and sequestration, renewable energy and a renewed commitment to nuclear energy.

Prior to the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, energy inflation and price volatility were major contributors to the loss of approximately 3.7 million high-wage manufacturing jobs. Manufacturers use one-third of our nation’s energy. Because of the impact a federal climate policy will have on the nation’s energy future, this is an issue that must be debated by Congress without pre-emption from a federal agency.

EPA regulations, with no guidance from Congress, could establish disincentives for the long-term investments needed to grow jobs and expedite economic recovery. The Murkowski resolution seeks to ensure a healthy and productive discussion in Congress on harmonizing our nation’s energy, environmental and economic needs. That discussion must take place before the EPA starts regulating GHG emissions from stationary sources, including manufacturing facilities.

EPA lacks the authority to write its own law, its own version of the Clean Air Act, to control greenhouse gas emissions, which by extension controls economic activity. You could be a believer in stringent controls but still recognize that the American system of representative democracy does not grant the power to issue such controls to an executive branch agency. S.J.Res. 26 serves as a clear test for Senators whether they really believe that Congress is the policymaking branch of government.

Senate debate is expected Thursday. Key Vote letters are used by the NAM in ranking the members of Congress on their support for manufacturing.

Leave a Reply