Congressman Jim Matheson today proposed bipartisan legislation that requires an analysis of the cumulative costs and benefits to consumers, businesses and the economy from a number of environmental regulations scheduled for roll out in the next two years. Matheson introduced HR 1705 - The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011.
"I have heard from many Utahns who invest in and operate the plants and equipment that produce electricity to power our lives and our economy. They worry about being in compliance with a dozen or so new environmental regulations that are rolling out over the next two years," said Matheson. "While the costs and benefits of many of these rules have been studied individually, the EPA hasn't stepped back to evaluate the cumulative effects. This bipartisan bill seeks answers."
Matheson said the measure establishes a committee, including the Secretaries of Commerce, Energy, Agriculture and the EPA Administrator, to conduct the analysis. It will look at the impacts of the proposed rules and regulations on U.S. competitiveness, employment, changes in electricity prices, fuel prices and the reliability of the power supply.
Matheson said the EPA rules and actions to be covered include: air quality standards for ozone, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide; green house gas New Source Performance Standards for refineries and utilities; coal ash; and storm water runoff at construction sites. Many of these rules require retrofits and modifications to equipment in power plants, refineries, manufacturing plants and boilers, among others. The bill requires a preliminary report to Congress by January 2012.
"At a time when our economic recovery is still fragile, and companies are trying to plan to meet growing energy demand, the more certainty and transparency we can provide, the better," said Matheson.