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Saturday, September 24, 2011

House Passes Bill To Block EPA Regulations

The Center opposes the bill

John Sullivan
The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday, sponsored by Representative John Sullivan (R-Okla), that would block a number of broad regulations to reduce unhealthy air emissions. House Republicans have targeted Environmental Protection Agency air rules, believing they would kill jobs and cost businesses billions of dollars in a weak economy.

The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation, or TRAIN, was passed 249 to 169. It was supported by fewer than 20 Democrats. The legislation has no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  The legislation proposes to delay certain EPA regulations by setting up an interagency panel led by the Commerce Department.The panel would be tasked with assessing the impact of EPA rules
on the economy, thus delaying their implementation.

The vote would delay until at least February 2013 the effective dates of two clean-air regulations that the EPA was planning to phase in next year. One of those sets of regulations, the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Rule, would limit the discharge of acid gases and toxins such as mercury and arsenic from coal and oil-fired power plants. To meet EPA standards, the plants would have to install equipment
to help clean emissions of those pollutants. The second set of regulations — the Cross-State Air Pollution
Rule — would limit power-plant emissions in 28 states that pollute other states with smog and soot. That rule, according to the EPA, would avert 13,000 to 34,000 premature deaths each year nationwide while generating billions of dollars in annual benefits to the U.S. economy.

Critics said that the regulations would place costly burdens on the private sector, raise electricity bills and make the recession. (Wash Post, 9/24/2011)

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