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Stearns Questions EPA on Adhering to President's Executive Order on Regulatory Reform Promoting Health and Safety as Well as Economic Growth and Job Creation

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Location: Washington, DC

"Earlier this year, President Obama issued Executive Order 13563 to improve the regulatory process in recognition that they must protect the public health and safety while promoting economic growth and job creation," said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. "In light of ongoing regulatory efforts at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it does not appear that the President's stated priorities for thoughtful, transparent, and sound rulemaking have taken hold at EPA."

The witness for this hearing was Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator for the EPA. Regarding the Ozone Rule that President Obama recently requested the EPA to withdraw citing the struggling economy, Stearns asked, "Three weeks ago the White House requested that you reconsider issuing the Ozone Rule, noting that the rule would not comport with the President's Executive Order and that the regulatory system must promote predictability and reduce uncertainly -- did you agree with the White House decision?" Jackson responded that she implemented it, and Stearns followed with, "Did you personally agree with it?" She answered, "Well, I don't think it's a secret that the recommendation we sent over in the package that was sent over was something different." This response highlighted concerns that the EPA is not following the principles of the directive for the President.

Jackson testified, "Some would have us believe that "job killing' describes EPA's regulations. It is misleading to say that enforcement of our nation's environmental laws is bad for the economy and employment. It isn't." Yet, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) outlined how EPA regulations resulted in the closure of two power plants in Texas, resulting in the loss of over 500 jobs.

Stearns concluded the hearing, "What we worry about is that EPA might be justifying regulation by claiming benefits much larger than the science Advisors' estimates of public health risk, and that violates the Executive Order and kills jobs."


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