U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01), a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, voted against a bill that would undermine the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) authority to protect the public's health and environment from pollution.
H.R. 1582 would give the Department of Energy (DOE) unprecedented power to block or delay major energy-related EPA rules. The bill would also require DOE to conduct a duplicative review of these rules.
"This legislation threatens the health of our citizens and our environment by restricting the EPA's ability to do its job," said Hanabusa. "Allowing the Energy Department to delay or block major EPA rules weakens important public health safeguards to reduce pollution. Also, the Department already has the opportunity to review EPA rules, so requiring it to conduct a duplicative analysis is unnecessary, time consuming, and costly; the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates this process will cost taxpayers $35 million over the next five years. The bill also provides no deadline for completing this process, so rules could be delayed indefinitely."
Existing law already requires agencies to submit cost-benefit analysis to the Congress of any rule costing more than $100 million annually, and the EPA must meet numerous statutory and administrative requirements for analyzing a proposed rule's impact on the economy and energy sector. Additionally, rules are subject to public comment.
The bill is opposed by several health and environmental organizations, including the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Sierra Club, and the League of Conservation Voters.
H.R. 1582 passed by a vote of 232-181 and now heads to the Senate.