Twenty Republican governors have signed a letter to President Obama detailing how the Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive overrearch runs contrary to the President’s stated goals on common-sense regulation, energy and job creation. It’s a good, tough letter.
The President’s Executive Order on January 18, 2011, emphasized the need for predictability and certainty when it comes to federal regulations. However, the EPA is simultaneously developing and implementing a number of regulatory and policy initiatives with extremely short and converging compliance deadlines within the next five years which will significantly impact the energy industry, increase burdensome costs to consumers, and hurt the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. An abbreviated list of these new regulations and policy uncertainties includes:
1. Federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from industrial, manufacturing and electric generation facilities;
2. Promulgation of new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) standards for industrial boilers.
3. Promulgation of stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, SO2, NO2, and particulates.
4. Proposed new MACT and cooling water intake structures requirements for power plants.
5. Multiple policy interpretations by the Agency related to American coal mining have resulted in the withdrawal of over 50% of pending applications, a 9% approval rate for those remaining, and an unprecedented revocation of an existing permit.
6. Continued uncertainty over whether Coal Combustion Residue will be regulated as a hazardous waste even though it does not meet any of the characteristics of a hazardous waste.
7. The impending EPA study which threatens to usurp state regulation of hydraulic fracturing.
The governors have identified issues that the National Association of Manufacturers also regard as priorities. Right now the EPA is working against common-sense rulemaking and the development of America’s abundant energy reserves.