Clean Air Regulations And Jobs | Chemical & Engineering News
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Web Date: August 12, 2011

Clean Air Regulations And Jobs

Congress: House bill would require analysis of EPA rules’ impacts on the economy
Department: Science & Technology
Keywords: EPA, Clean Air Act, economy

A House committee on July 12 approved a bill that would require Cabinet-level officials to analyze the effects of eight Clean Air Act regulations on employment and the economy.

The Republican-backed measure, H.R. 2401, targets EPA’s greenhouse gas emission controls for refineries and utilities, a rule to reduce power plant pollution that blows across state lines, and a regulation that clamps down on toxic releases from industrial boilers, including those at chemical manufacturing sites. In addition, the bill includes a rule, not yet finalized by EPA, that would control mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted the legislation 33-13, mainly along party lines.

The legislation would establish a panel with representatives from the Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Labor, and Treasury departments as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. International Trade Commission, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and the White House regulatory gatekeeper’s office. The committee rejected an amendment, offered by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) to add federal health officials to the panel.

“EPA must be reined in,” said Rep. David B. McKinley (R-W.Va.), who voted for the bill. McKinley contended that the agency’s science, policies, and regulations are biased.

H.R. 2401 is titled the “Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the National Act,” nicknamed the TRAIN Act. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said the name was derived from complaints from energy lobbyists that EPA’s air regulations will cause a “train wreck” in electricity reliability.

The bill now moves to the House floor, where it is expected to pass. The measure faces dim prospects in the Senate, however.

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