Clean Air Act Archives - Shopfloor

Manufacturers Support Rollback of RMP Rule

By | Environment, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

Manufacturers strongly support Rep. Markwayne Mullin’s (R-OK) Disapproval Petition under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Accidental Release Prevention Requirements: Risk Management Programs under the Clean Air Act (RMP rule). The National Association of Manufacturers has long expressed concerns over the EPA’s proposed and, ultimately, final approach in this rule, which will create significant additional burdens without any safety benefits. The EPA’s RMP rule will overlap and conflict with other federal programs designed to promote safety and security, meaning that the EPA’s proposal will be duplicative and add regulatory burdens for manufacturers—and likely inconsistencies—with no additional benefits. In addition, the disclosure requirements raise concerns related to sensitive business and security data, which could actually threaten facility security.

Manufacturers support the CRA Disapproval Petition offered by Rep. Mullin and look forward to working with him, the other cosponsors and the rest of Congress to ensure this legislation makes it to the president’s desk for his signature.



Federal Court Rules the EPA Must Consider Job Losses from Its Regs

By | Energy, Shopfloor Main, Shopfloor Policy | No Comments

This afternoon, Judge John Preston Bailey of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unlawfully ignored its duty under Section 321 of the Clean Air Act to evaluate potential and actual job loss from its regulations. The agency has rolled out tens of billions of dollars worth of new air regulations on electric utilities, energy producers, manufacturers, vehicles and other sources and readily admits it had not done a single one of these mandatory job loss evaluations before finalizing any of those regulations.

The purpose of requirements like Section 321 is to get better regulations, the kind that achieve their environmental goals while preserving a strong economy. And while the EPA made this promise virtually every time it issued a new regulation, the facts show that it never even bothered to do a Section 321 analysis any of those times. The court gave the EPA two weeks to do a Section 321 job loss analysis for the coal industry, which has faced a regulatory burden heavier than perhaps any other sector over the past decade.

Manufacturers are pleased to see that the EPA will now have to properly evaluate the impact of its regulations on jobs. ‎We are disappointed that this order comes years after the regulations at issue went final and at a time when the companies regulated have already started complying. We hope the EPA will comply with the law and routinely do job loss studies for each of its major new regulations before they are proposed, to ensure a better regulatory process.

Local Governments Weigh In on Proposed Ozone Standards

By | Energy | No Comments

The outcry over the EPA’s proposed ground-level ozone standards continues with representatives of the nation’s mayors, counties, cities and regions adding their voices to the debate in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy this week.

In the letter dated March 17, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, and National Association of Regional Councils, detail the impact the most expensive rule in U.S. history will have on local governments.  These four organizations collectively represent 19,000 cites and mayors, 3,069 counties and over 500 regional councils. Read More

EPA Shows Regulatory Restraint – But Will It Last?

By | Economy, Regulations | No Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced that it would retain the current secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx). Under the Clean Air Act, secondary standards are established to protect the environment from certain emissions where primary standards are established to protect human health. The EPA noted in its fact sheet on the final rule that the independent Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) had recommended preserving the current standard based on its review of the available science.

NOx and SOx emissions come from a variety of natural and man-made sources including cars, trucks, buses, power plants, industrial facilities, waste incineration and agricultural sources. The fact sheet also stated that, “since 1980, levels of NOx and SOx in the air have fallen by more than 50 percent and more than 80 percent, respectively.” The resulting decrease has helped mitigate the impact of acid rain or acid deposition on the environment.

We are pleased that the EPA decided to maintain the current standards, but we urge caution as the Agency works to develop a new “multipollutant standard” for NOx and SOx that will also address acid rain deposition. Manufacturers have made great strides to reduce air emissions, and the last thing we need in this tough economy is another overly stringent standard that will do little to improve the environment.

Manufacturers Urge the EPA to Reconsider the Problematic Boiler Rules

By | Regulations | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers and ten other trade associations today filed a reconsideration petition on the Boiler MACT suite of rules, urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “get it right” on the rules affecting the largest emitting boilers (MACT), smaller emitting boilers (GACT) and the solid waste incinerator (CISWI) portions of the regulation.* The petition highlights specific problems with the achievability of the rule that are still of major concern to manufacturers. If unresolved, these damaging provisions will hurt manufacturers’ competitiveness causing additional job loss in today’s tough economy.

 Specifically, these issues include:

  • the establishment of dioxin/furan emission limits that relied on a small amount of data that are largely below detection limits;
  • the achievability of many of the new source limits, the solid fuel particulate matter, CO, and dioxin/furan new source limits; and
  • improperly revised definitions which could reclassify boilers – already subject to MACT standards – as solid waste incineration units.

 In addition to this reconsideration petition, the NAM and other manufacturing groups also submitted a Petition for Administrative Stay  on April 27 which urges the EPA to stop the rule from taking effect while the reconsideration process continues. The stay, if granted, would provide manufacturers with the certainty they need to make business decisions pending the final outcome of the reconsideration of the rule.

* MACT – Maximum Achievable Control Technology

GACT – Generally Achievable Control Technology

CISWI – Commerical / Industrial Solid Waste Incinerators


EPA Regulation: Consumers Also Feel the Higher Energy Costs

By | Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | No Comments

Jay Timmons, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, appeared in studio Wednesday on WLS’s morning drive-time program in Chicago, the “Don Wade and Roma Show.” A good interview with informed hosts that touched on several items including Illinois’ business climate, U.S. competitiveness, taxes and the pending Senate vote to block EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases.

From the discussion of the latter (audio clip):

Timmons: The NAM is supporting the McConnell bill because it’s very definitive. It says the EPA cannot regulate greenhouse gases, and then Congress can then come back and create a law that would allow them to do that or do it in a way that Congress dictates.

Roma: It had originally been in Congress’ purview, and then the EPA did an end-run around when it ran into balky congressional leaders, right?

: Well, that’s exactly right. A couple of years ago there was a bill that was on the House floor to regulate greenhouse gases, and it did pass the House, it stalled in the Senate. So Congress actually said, no, we’re not going to allow the regulation of greenhouse gases. And now you have the EPA saying, well, if Congress isn’t going to do it, we’re going to do it. So, hey, that’s a fun job to have.

Don Wade
: The reason we don’t want the EPA to tighten the screws on regulation on greenhouse gases is that it will increase the cost to manufacturers’ stuff. That stuff then will cost you, the consumer, more. It’s like a tax, only it’s not a tax. It’s a hidden tax.

Timmons: It’s a hidden tax that does raise the costs of all energy inputs into manufacturing. Manufacturing uses 30 percent of all the energy consumed in the United States to create those goods that you’re talking about that consumers buy. So you have one of two things happen. You either raise the costs of goods or manufacturers simply can’t compete, so jobs are lost.

And the other part of this is, it’s not just manufacturing. Somebody says, “Ah, let business pay,” well, this is also the consumer. This is also the retired…these are my retired parents, who are trying to pay their heating and cooling bill. And if you look at gas prices today, I don’t think anybody wants to pay more for energy costs.

WLS has posted audio of the full 12-minute interview here.

As the Senate Vote Nears on EPA Overregulation…

By | Economy, Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | No Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers is running TV and radio spots urging Senators to vote for the amendment sponsored by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to prevent the attempt of the Environmental Protection Agency to extend its control over the U.S. economy through its regulation of greenhouse gases.

The ads are available at the campaign’s website: www.nonewregs.org.

The NAM just sent a letter to the U.S. Senate urging Senators to vote for the McConnell amendment and opposing two alternative amendments that fail to achieve the desired goal: Protecting the U.S. economy, manufacturers and workers from costs of EPA overregulation. The amendments may provide a modicum of political cover, but they simply extend the uncertainty that threatens the U.S. economic recovery.

As NAM President Jay Timmons wrote in a blog post at The Hill, “A choice: Recovery or regulator?“:

Manufacturers have been proved a bright spot during the U.S. recovery, making new investments, hiring thousands of employees every week, and exporting more than other sectors of the economy. Yet uncertainty compels the companies to practice caution, holding off investments until it’s clear just how much control over the economy the EPA will wield.

When Senators vote on the McConnell amendment this week, they will be choosing between a private-sector led recovery and the uncertainty and costs threatened by an unrestrained regulator, the EPA. Manufacturers ask that the Senators embrace the recovery by voting for the McConnell amendment.

More …

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Only McConnell Amendment Limits Economic Risk from EPA Regs

By | Energy, General, Global Warming, Regulations | One Comment

The National Association of Manufacturers just distributed a letter to U.S. Senators urging their vote for Sen. Mitch McConnell’s amendment to block the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases. The letter also expresses opposition to two other amendments that threaten to deflect attention from the clear issue facing the U.S. Senate: Whether the EPA should circumvent the policymaking branch of government, Congress, to extend its regulatory authority over carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the detriment of the U.S. economy, manufacturers, and workers.

The NAM letters comes from Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations. Text:

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), the largest manufacturing association in the United States representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states, urges your support for legislation that will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources. To that end, the NAM key-voted Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) Energy Tax Prevention Act amendment (No. 183) to the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 493).This amendment would stop EPA regulations that are costing jobs and hurting our nation’s economic recovery.
In addition, two other amendments that address GHG regulations were offered to S. 493 by Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT) (No. 236) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (No. 215). While manufacturers appreciate the efforts of Sens. Baucus and Rockefeller, unfortunately, their amendments do not solve many problems associated with the EPA’s GHG regulations and provide little regulatory certainty for our nation’s job creators. Read More

Manufacturers: Support McConnell Amendment to Restrain EPA

By | Economy, Energy, Global Warming, Regulations | 2 Comments

The National Association of Manufacturers this afternoon sent a “Key Vote” letter to the U.S. Senators supporting an amendment by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to block the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Sen. McConnell has proposed the Energy Tax Limitation Amendment to S. 493, the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act, being debated on the Senate floor now.

Excerpt from the NAM letter:

At a time when our economy is attempting to recover from the most severe recession since the 1930s, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, with no guidance from Congress, will establish disincentives for the long-term investments necessary to grow jobs and expedite economic recovery. The McConnell Amendment seeks to ensure a healthy and productive discussion in Congress on harmonizing our nation’s energy, environmental and economic needs before EPA regulates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from stationary sources, including manufacturing facilities.

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 and large-scale deployment of nuclear power plants.

Sen. McConnell explained the amendment in floor remarks earlier today. (Text and video) A separate news release from his office presented the remarks of 15 Senate Democrats criticizing the EPA’s overreach.

Key vote letters are developed by a committee made up of manufacturers of all sizes and are used to rate a members’ support for manufacturing during a session of Congress.

Also this afternoon, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 34-19 to report out H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, which has the same language as the McConnell amendment. In the portion of the committee discussion we watched online, Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) spoke about the damaging impact EPA regulation of greenhouse gases would have on manufacturing and manufacturing jobs. We thank him.

P.S. Three Democrats joined the House Republicans on the committee in voting for the bill: Reps. Barrow (GA), Matheson (UT), and Ross (AR).

Resisting the Imperial EPA’s Overregulation of the Economy

By | General | No Comments

The House Energy and Commerce Committee meets at 10 a.m. this morning to mark up and presumably vote out  H.R. 910, the Energy Tax Prevention Act, to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

The National Association of Manufacturers sent an e-mail letter to committee members Monday urging them to vote yes. Excerpt of the e-mail, signed by Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations:

This legislation prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA). It would also allow the EPA to regulate mobile source GHG emissions for model years 2012-2016 but would prevent regulation during subsequent years.

Manufacturers face tremendous uncertainty as the EPA and state permitting authorities begin the implementation process of regulating GHG emissions from stationary sources. Though the EPA is currently regulating the largest new and modified facilities, it has announced that it will start regulating existing power plants and refineries in the near future. Manufacturers use one-third of our nation’s energy, and burdensome regulations on these facilities will increase manufacturers’ energy costs, hindering our competitiveness. Furthermore, as many as six million industrial facilities, power plants, hospitals, agricultural and commercial establishments eventually will be subject to regulation under the CAA.

This legislation is needed to stem the tide of the EPA’s overreach and give our nation’s job creators the assurance they need to expand their businesses and put Americans back to work.

The Wall Street Journal editorializes today in support of the bill, which would have policy set by the policymaking branch of government, Congress. From “Carbon and Democracy: Congress gets ready to overrule the EPA on cap and trade rules“:

The bill, which the committee will likely approve today and the House will likely pass later this spring, would restore the plain regulatory meaning that “pollutant” held for decades until the EPA decided in 2009 that all of a sudden it also applied to carbon. John Dingell helped write the Clean Air Act and its 1990 revision, and the Michigan Democrat has repeatedly said that neither was ever meant to address climate.

Other critics of the EPA’s carbon agenda include Senate Democrats like West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, neither of whom is otherwise known for business sympathies. But they understand that the EPA is about to unleash an economy-wide deluge of new rules and mandates that is already costly and destructive, and it has barely begun.

Right. The EPA has attempted to spin the expansion of its regulatory control over the economy as only a limited spate of regulation over heavy emitters such as refineries and coal-fired power plants. But, even the EPA concedes that those limits represent just the first stage of its control over carbon dioxide, the inevitable by-product of all human economic activity.