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Letter to U.S. House of Representatives


Location: Unknown

Today Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Gene Green, and Rep. John A. Yarmuth sent a letter to their colleagues detailing the effects of section 1746 of the Continuing Resolution (H.R. 1) which would impose a de facto construction ban on many areas of the country. The construction ban would apply to all or parts of the following states and territories: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Idaho, Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Texas, Virgin Islands, and Wyoming.

February 15,2011

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Colleague,

H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011, would have devastating effects on Americans and our economy. We are writing to highlight certain impacts that may not be widely understood. The top priority for this Congress should be getting America back to work. Yet section 1746 of H.R. 1 would impose a de facto construction ban on many areas of the country.

Climate change is an important issue that Congress must work to address. Otherwise, our industries face the uncertainty of not knowing what future policies will be adopted to control greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, section 1746 just makes these uncertainties worse. It states:

None of the funds made available to the Environmental Protection Agency by this division or any other Act may be expended for purposes of enforcing or promulgating any regulation (other than with respect to section 202 of the Clean Air Act) or order, taking action relating to, or denying approval of state implementation plans or permits because of the emissions of greenhouse gases due to concerns regarding possible climate change.

The Clean Air Act requires the largest new and expanded facilities to obtain pre-construction permits that address greenhouse gas emissions. Section 1746 would have the effect of preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing such pre-construction permits in many jurisdictions. While some states and counties have the authority to issue pre-construction permits addressing greenhouse gas emissions, others rely on EPA to issue the permits. In those jurisdictions, the effect of section 1746 will be to prevent facilities from obtaining permits that are required by law prior to the start of construction.

This construction ban would apply to all or parts of the following states and territories: Arizona; Arkansas; California; Connecticut; Idaho; Florida; Kentucky; Massachusetts; Nebraska; Nevada; Oregon; Puerto Rico; Texas; Virgin Islands; and Wyoming. It would block dozens of ongoing projects, including new or expanding power plants, refineries, cement kilns, and large manufacturing plants. The result would be the loss of thousands of construction jobs and permanent jobs at new factories and power plants. Section 1746 would also block even longstanding and successful voluntary industry partnership programs such as Energy Star, Smart Way, and the Global Methane Initiative. We urge you to support American jobs and oppose this damaging construction ban.


Henry A. Waxman
Member of Congress

Gene Green
Member of Congress

John A. Yarmuth
Member of Congress

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