Governor Jindal Letter to EPA Says Proposed Rule Changes will have Profound Negative Economic Impact
Governor Jindal released the following letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this morning:
Ms. Lisa Jackson, Administrator
United States Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20460
Re: Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0517
Prevention of Significant Deterioration and Title V Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule
Dear Administrator Jackson:
Several of my cabinet secretaries communicated their concerns regarding the EPA's recent rule proposals related to greenhouse gases. I write to you today to express my objection to EPA's action, which equates to major policy changes through agency rulemaking designed to comprehensively regulate greenhouse gases in absence of proper review and public input.
Any consideration of such a comprehensive regulatory scheme belongs in a thoroughly vetted legislative process. There is no doubt that this change will certainly have profound negative economic impacts on the state of Louisiana, as well as the entire country.
Louisiana is the second largest refining state in the U.S. Our state is also a major producer of oil and gas utilized domestically by our country. Implementation of the proposed rules will have a dramatic chilling effect on the refining and production capability of our state. The proposed tailoring rule and other proposed greenhouse gas regulations will introduce a new permit regime that will impose both costs and burdensome processes on our refining, production and energy industry as a whole. Diminished production and refining capacity of southern states will certainly result in a major impact on energy supply, fuel prices and energy security for the entire country.
Moreover, these EPA's proposed regulations will tangentially force commercial, industrial and major agricultural employers to spend less money on labor, thereby further reducing employment during these already tough economic times. Worse, Louisiana and the entire country will likely lose industry to other countries without an increased benefit to the environment. Indeed, the impacts on the global environment may ultimately be negative, as facilities will likely be relocated to countries that do not have the restrictions and requirements currently utilized in the United States.
Simply, the EPA's proposed regulations will cast unknown penalties on American manufacturers without Congressional input. In today's economic climate, one of the greatest threats to industry and jobs is the unknown, and there will not be sustainable growth without predictability. Changes this significant should at a minimum be vigorously and openly debated by Congress and should not be decided unilaterally by one government agency. Most importantly, any proposed regulations or legislation must not put our state and our nation at a competitive disadvantage against other countries, as we continue to compete to win jobs for our people from economic prospects.
We need sensible solutions to the environmental and economic challenges ahead. While regulation of greenhouse gases is an appropriate debate to have, the proposed tailoring rule and other similar EPA proposed rules will increase current challenges. Please reconsider unilateral agency action on this issue and instead pursue a more thoughtful and transparent approach that will safeguard our state and national economy to protect the jobs of our citizens.
Governor Bobby Jindal
State of Louisiana