House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sounded a note of caution following today's announcement that the EPA will extend the deadline for issuing its final standards for cooling water intake structures, known as the 316(b) rule, by one year. Upton and Whitfield have been leaders in the fight against EPA's regulatory assault that, when this suite of complex new rules is taken altogether, threaten countless jobs and would cause significant economic harm.
Upton and Whitfield made the following statement:
"Today's announcement is an acknowledgement that President Obama's EPA is regulating too much too fast and that there are flaws in the underlying proposed rule. Pressure from Congress and the public, along with the threat of looming litigation, has forced the agency to reconsider its action. This stay of execution is good news for jobs, but this fight is only delayed a year, it is not over. The 316(b) rule represents yet another major EPA regulation confronting America's power sector that will contribute to higher electricity rates and job losses. EPA continues to push major regulations without fully assessing the costs and consequences for consumers.
"In a similar vein, EPA announced on Friday that it would reconsider certain aspects of its costly Utility MACT rule. We have repeatedly asked EPA to provide a cost estimate for this rule, but to date, we have not received an adequate response. Our own analysis shows the total cost of this rule could total over a hundred billion dollars.
"EPA's reckless red tape brigade is causing great uncertainty for job-creators at a time when American businesses can least afford it. Rather than continuing to play this game of temporary political retreat, EPA must be transparent from the start of its rulemaking process. As our economy struggles to recover, it is critical to fully understand the costs of EPA's rules, and their impacts on energy reliability, before they are imposed. We have passed commonsense solutions like the TRAIN Act to protect jobs and our fragile recovery, ensuring the Obama EPA conducts a true cost-benefit analysis of its rules before issuing them rather than blindly moving forward with a damaging regulatory agenda."