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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2681, Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2250, EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, I'm pleased to come down here to thank the Rules Committee for the modified open rule and a chance for us to go through this bill bit by bit, amendment by amendment, to address concerns that my friends on the other side of the aisle might have about this.

I am following my good friend from Oregon, and I appreciate his passion. But I come to the floor to talk about the jobs. And the EPA, whom I've also rallied against numerous times, produced the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in July. The result of that is two power plants in Illinois are closing. One is 369 megawatts, and the other one is 302 megawatts. That means 671 megawatts of basal power is going to be offline. If you understand the law of supply and demand--less supply plus similar demand or higher demand equals higher costs--then it's very easy to project higher energy costs for everybody across this country because of that rule.

Secondly, the job losses. In the first plant, 14 management and 39 union-represented employees will lose their jobs. That's at plant number one. At plant number two, eight management and 29 union-represented employees will lose their jobs.

We do this and we come down and we have these debates on the role of the EPA so that we can have the debate about jobs in this economy. This is not the time--in fact, I have asked the President, the best thing he could do for his own reelection and for the country is stop doing things. Put a hold on new rules and new regulations and let the economy recover. Let's put people back to work. Let's make these power plants that are employing these folks still have jobs. Let's make sure the tax base in these small rural communities that these power plants pay taxes to still have that property tax revenue going.

Boiler MACT is another example of what we did last week, and these effects on job losses are real. This announcement was done today. Boiler MACT will affect a lot of municipal power plants who have a contractual obligation with their citizens saying we will locally produce power. And so they are breaking contract with their citizens. The Cement MACT is another example of when we talk about jobs and infrastructure. The result of these cement plants closing is that we will import cement.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. NUGENT. I yield the gentleman 30 additional seconds.

Mr. SHIMKUS. I would just ask my friends, does that make sense that we are now going to import cement at higher cost from countries who aren't complying with these rules and regulations? I think not. This debate is about jobs and the economy. Now is not the time to ratchet down these rules so we make it more difficult to create jobs, keep jobs, and grow this economy.

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