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Environmental Protection Agency Archives - Page 2 of 12 - Shopfloor

House Passes Bill to Rein in the EPA

By | Energy | No Comments

Today the House took a big step in slowing down several of the harmful Environmental Protection Agency regulations by passing the TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401). The bipartisan vote was 249-169.

Earlier this week the National Association of Manufactures sent a Key Vote letter to members of the House urguing them to vote to protect jobs by voting in favor of the bill:

Under Utility MACT and the recently finalized CSAPR, electricity costs will increase by as much as 23 percent in some of the largest manufacturing regions of our nation, resulting in a loss of 1.4 million jobs by 2020, according to National Economic Research Associates. In addition to cost increases and job losses, there will be serious grid reliability issues as coal-fired power plants are taken offline. These reliability issues will likely manifest themselves in a lack of adequate power for both industrial users and consumers.

Before imposing unduly strict mandates on America’s job creators, Congress and the regulatory agencies should employ rigorous economic analysis to better understand potential economic impacts and cost-benefit relationships. The TRAIN Act calls for a cumulative analysis of pending EPA proposals – while staying the Utility MACT proposal and CSAPR until six months after the study has been completed. This represents a responsible and prudent course of action, and we urge your support.

We’ve already seen some examples of the impact on jobs from the Cross-State Pollution rule and the Utility MACT rule will increase energy costs, severely harming manufacturers’ competitiveness. Manufacturers now urge the Senate to take up this legislation to rein in the EPA and its aggressive overreaching agenda.

DOE Hydraulic Fracturing Report Causes Concern

By | Energy, Regulations, Studies and Reports | One Comment

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Natural Gas Subcommittee released a draft report on August 11 that makes recommendations regarding the safety and environmental performance of hydraulic fracturing from shale formations. Manufacturers, users of one-third of the energy consumed in the United States, agree with the Subcommittee’s characterization of natural gas as “a cornerstone of the U.S. economy.”  Unfortunately, the call for increased regulation of hydraulic fracturing is a reason for concern.

The Subcommitee’s recommendations include:

  •  Required disclosure of all chemicals in hydraulic fracturing fluid – Many companies that manufacture this fluid voluntarily disclose the chemicals they use through the Frac Focus registry. Additional mandatory disclosure requirements may discourage manufacturers from developing new fluids if they know that competitors can easily find their exact “recipe.”
  • New air emission standards – Comprehensive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules are already in place or are in the process of being revised. Additional regulation would be redundant, confusing, expensive and unnecessary.
  • Reduction in the usage of diesel engines at fracturing sites – This sweeping recommendation does not take into consideration that there may be no economically viable alternative to using a diesel engine at some wells.

Hydraulic fracturing is a critical process that has allowed the U.S. to take advantage of its rich shale gas resources. The majority of natural gas wells have used hydraulic fracturing, and there have been 4.3 million wells drilled in North America over 150 years. Current state regulations have been effective in protecting the environment. Manufacturers urge caution as the DOE moves forward with its final recommendations – additional federal regulations could put the brakes on a technology that is creating jobs and providing more affordable energy for all Americans.

NAM Urges President Obama to Delay EPA Ozone Standards

By | Economy, Energy, Regulations | No Comments

Yesterday the National Association of Manufacturers was joined by other business groups in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to delay issueing new ozone standards until 2013.

From the letter:

All of us value clean air. The companies we represent, their employees and their managers all care about the quality of the air that Americans breathe. All of us breathe the same air and so do our families. We appreciate the fact that ground-level ozone levels continue to drop across most of the United States under the current de facto standard established in 1997. Moreover, U.S. companies are proactively making significant investments to meet the stricter de jure standard established in 2008, even though it has not yet been implemented.

 The newest standard proposed by EPA, however, likely would cast hundreds of counties across the United States out of compliance, making it difficult for businesses to build new facilities in those counties or expand existing ones. Further, EPA has estimated the proposed standard will cost between $20 and $90 billion annually. In our view, EPA’s estimate is based on optimistic assumptions about the development of new control technology, meaning that the costs and impact on jobs and economic growth could be much worse.

With the stalled economic recovery and manufacturing growth slowing now is not the time to impose additional costly regulations on manufacturers.

Former Senator on EPA’s New Power Plant Regs

By | Around the States, Energy, Regulations | No Comments

Over the weekend, former Missouri Senator Kit Bond wrote in the Southeast Missourian about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which requires power plants to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.  (News coverage of the new rule here and here.)

Senator Bond writes that this new regulation will have a serious impact on coal-fired power plants:

Every time an American family turns on a light switch, heats a home in winter or air conditions that home in the summer, that family will pay higher utility bills. Workers who depend on coal-fired plants for paychecks will face unemployment when plants are closed. Rural communities that depend on tax revenue from utilities to fund schools will struggle to keep doors open for students when coal-fired facilities are shut down due to the cost of complying with EPA’s regulatory onslaught. And farmers and businesses — from the local pharmacy to drugstore — will face higher energy prices, making it more difficult to stay in business — let alone create jobs.

Senator Bond notes that, together with the Utility MACT regulations, this new rule will cost jobs. He writes,

Recent analysis from the National Economic Research Associates shows that by 2020 the cost of just two of the coming onslaught of regulations the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology rules — will be the loss of 1.4 million jobs and an averageutility bill increase, of 11.5 percent — and in some cases, more than 20 percent.

For more about the EPA’s regulatory agenda, be sure the visit the NAM’s No New Regs site.

In Rare Sign of Regulatory Restraint, EPA Delays Boiler Rules

By | Energy, Regulations | No Comments

The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a delay in news standards for industrial boilers, a sign the agency recognizes its earlier regulatory proposal would have hammered manufacturers, the economy, and employers’ ability to create jobs.

From the EPA’s update page, a fact sheet.

  • The agency is reconsidering the standards because the public did not have sufficient opportunity to comment on these changes, and, as a result, further public review and feedback is required to meet the legal obligations under the Clean Air Act.
  • EPA is also issuing a stay to delay the effective date of the standards for major source boilers and commercial and industrial solid waste incinerators. The stay will allow the agency to seek additional public comment before requiring thousands of facilities across multiple, diverse industries to make investments that may not be reversible if the standards are revised following reconsideration and a full evaluation of all relevant data.
  • The stay will remain in place until the proceedings for judicial review of these rules are completed or EPA completes its reconsideration of the standards, whichever is earlier.

In its story, “EPA to Postpone Boiler Rules Amid Industry Group Complaints,” Bloomberg cites an e-mail from the National Association of Manufacturers: “This will alleviate job creators from burdensome and costly regulations while the EPA goes through the reconsideration process…[and] removes a level of uncertainty found among manufactures that has discouraged future investment and job growth.”

The NAM, American Forest and Paper Association and numerous other business groups filed a motion with the EPA  for an administrative stay in April.

Administration Concedes Global Warming is a Policy Question

By | Briefly Legal, Economy, Energy, Regulations | No Comments

Writing at the Cato Institute’s blog, Cato@Liberty, Walter Olson gives us a single paragraph that captures why the Supreme Court should reject the Second Circuit’s ruling that Connecticut and other states could sue five electric utilities for contributing to global warming. From “AEP v. Connecticut: Global Warming as Political Question”:

By its nature, global warming is exactly the sort of policy question traditionally entrusted to the political branches: it is wholly unsuited to individualized justice based on links between particularized emissions and particularized effects, its proposed remedies are much disputed and likely to be the result of inevitably arbitrary compromise, sovereign negotiations with foreign actors play a crucial role, and so forth. As the courts have long recognized, one does not generate a case for judicial action simply by piling atop each other the propositions “something needs to be done” and “the political branches have not done it.” Indeed, the Obama administration itself has more or less invited the Supreme Court to dismiss the action on political-question grounds.

The media coverage of Tuesday’s oral arguments we read highlighted the Administration’s argument that the need for the public nuisance suit by the states and environmental groups had been obviated by the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases. As Greenwire framed it: “[The] Obama administration maintains that U.S. EPA, through its recent efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, has “spoken directly to the question plaintiffs ask the courts to resolve.” Read More

When the EPA Targets Electric Utilities

By | Economy, Energy, Regulations | One Comment

The hearing today by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power on recent EPA regulations on industrials boilers, cement manufacturing plants and utilities included strong and substantive testimony from representatives of affected industries. (Background memo) Below we’ve cited the testimony from Dirk Krouskop with MeadWestvaco on the Boiler MACT regs. In addition …

Thomas A. Fanning, the Chairman, President and CEO of  The Southern Company, testified on the Utility MACT rule. His prepared statement included this summary:

EPA has proposed Utility MACT rules under timelines that we believe will put the reliability and affordability of our nation’s power system at risk. EPA’s proposal will impact plants that are responsible for nearly 50 percent of total electricity generation in the United States. It imposes a three-year timeline for compliance, at a time when the industry is laboring to comply with a myriad of other EPA mandates. The result will be to reduce reserve margins—generating capacity that is available during times of high demand or plant outages—and to cause costs to soar. Lower reserve margins place customers at a risk for experiencing significant interruptions in electric service, and costs increases will ultimately be reflected in service rates, which will rise rapidly as utilities press ahead with retrofitting and projects to replace lost generating capacity due to plant retirements.

The solution is to allow the industry the time to make a smooth transition to the next generation of emissions control technology required by the Utility MACT standard. A more deliberate schedule for promulgating the standard, coupled with a more realistic compliance schedule, would ease the strain on the industry and reduce risks to consumers. Anything less will put at risk the economic growth and job creation that depends on reliable and affordable electricity every day of the year.

Anthony F. Earley, Jr.,Executive Chairman of DTE Energy, also focused on the EPA’s plans to further regulate electric utilities. From his prepared statement: Read More

When the EPA Targets Boilers, Cement Manufacturing, Utilities

By | Energy, Regulations | No Comments

House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power is holding the fifth day of its hearing on “The American Energy Initiative” this morning focusing onrecent EPA rule makings on boilers, cement manufacturing plants and utilities.

In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield highlighted the impact on manufacturers of the EPA’s rules on industrial boilers, aka Boiler MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology):

Thousands of power plants and facilities depend on affordable energy from boilers. That includes paper mills, refineries, and chemical plants, schools and hospitals. Literally millions of jobs rely on affordable energy from these facilities, and those jobs are put at risk if those boilers can no longer be installed and run in a cost effective manner.

And where manufacturing is concerned, we live in a global economy and need to be mindful that regulations that disproportionately raise the cost of building and operating boilers in the U.S. may chase manufacturing activity and jobs overseas. And as is so often the case with EPA regulations, few if any other nations have any desire to go down the same costly path as with these new boiler regulations.

That is why EPA’s extremely stringent regulations are worrisome, especially given the state of the economy. And that is why easing compliance is so crucial to the economic recovery.

Among those testifying Dirk J. Krouskop, vice president for safety, health and environment at MeadWestvaco, the major packaging company. Krouskop also emphasized the economic impact of the Boiler MACT rules, of great concern to the forest products and paper industry, while detailing the many other regulations that have affected the industry’s growth and global competitiveness. From his written statement:

We know that the current wave of regulations is unsustainable. Living with such an uncertain regulatory environment not only costs current jobs, but also prevents new jobs from being created. Read More

Manufacturing Prominent in House Debate on EPA Overreach

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

The National Association of Manufacturers was cited several times in the House floor debate Thursday on H.R. 910, to prevent the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Congressional Record, Page H2370:

Mr. SCALISE. Madam Chair, we are here today because the EPA has continued to push this effort to pass a national energy tax. It was tried through cap-and-trade over the last year and a half. That bill went through the legislative process and was defeated in a bipartisan way. This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue when we’re talking about preventing the EPA from running millions of jobs out of our country, and that is literally what’s at stake here.

Believe me, as people look through the letters of support and as we comb through the days of testimony that we’ve had on this over the last 2 years with regard to this concept of the EPA’s regulating greenhouse gases, Madam Chair, we are talking about a proposal by the EPA that, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, would run 3 million jobs out of our country.

Now, we should all be here working feverishly to create jobs. In fact, our legislation, the National Energy Tax Prevention Act, will create jobs because it will remove the uncertainty that exists today where so many employers, so many of our job creators, are scared to death of the threat now of regulation coming over; because, again, Congress rejected their proposal for the national energy tax through cap-and-trade in a bipartisan way.

The analysis Rep. Scalise is referring to is, we presume, the earlier NAM-ACCF analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill. EPA regulation of greenhouse gases could have even greater economic consequences than that cap-and-trade legislation, which as negotiated legislation included many exemptions, subsidies, delays and deals intended to minimize the harm and job loss. EPA regulation can evade the same policy and political compromises, exacerbating the uncertainty that Rep. Scalise is right to emphasize.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), chief sponsor of H.R. 910, also inserted an NAM-cosigned letter into the record (page H2372): Read More

From Ohio, a Manufacturer Objects to EPA’s Overreach

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

The Akron Beacon-Journal this week published an op-ed by Ward J. Timken Jr., chairman of the board of directors of The Timken Co., “EPA regulations weigh down the economy“.

The Timken Co. is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered bearings, alloy steels, and related components and assemblies. Ward Timken Jr. is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers’ executive committee. He wrote:

Timken has a U.S.-favorable trade balance, with jobs in Ohio and throughout the U.S. supporting growing demand around the world. It requires us to keep costs down and drive efficiency to optimal levels.

In our Canton, Ohio, steel plants, we are continuously reducing our energy consumption and carbon intensity using highly efficient electric-arc-furnace technology and the most advanced manufacturing methods. We often collaborate with government to develop energy-saving technologies and balanced policies across party lines.

Understanding that the aims of economic and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive, I encourage you to join me to make our voices heard. Please contact our representatives in Congress and ask them to preserve jobs and the democratic process by putting a stop to the EPA’s regulatory overreach.

This week’s legislative activities in Congress to achieve that goal — stopping the EPA’s regulatory overreach — produced a mixed result. The House on Thursday voted 255-172 to pass H.R. 910, to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

The same legislation in the form of the McConnell Amendment failed Wednesday in the Senate on a 50-50 vote. However, in votes on four amendments, a majority of Senators expressed opposition in one form or another to the EPA’s current plans. As Politico summarized: “All of them failed, but 17 Democrats broke with their party and president to support measures that rein in the greenhouse gas regulations on varying levels….In all, 64 senators voted to block or delay the climate regulations, which Senate Republicans were more than happy to note.”

The NAM is certainly going to continue the fight against the EPA’s attempt to take over the making of environmental, energy and economic policy. See our website: www.NoNewRegs.org.

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