The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Trade Groups Seek Relief from EPA GHG Rules

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 1, 2010

A group of 17 trade associations representing mining, chemicals, energy, manufacturing and business are asking key Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee as well as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) to support an initiative to stop or delay the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission rules. In two separate letters, the trade groups, which include API, ask the senators "to pursue a moratorium on the stationary source rules...."

After the election, the U.S. Senate will need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) or an omnibus spending bill to fund government programs and pay salaries of government workers. The current funding expires December 3. Some members of the Senate have discussed attaching a provision to the legislation that would prohibit spending taxpayers' money on the enforcement of the EPA's GHG rules or delay the rules for two years.

According to the trade groups' letters, the proposed EPA rules would affect as many as 6 million U.S. factories, farms, hospitals and power plants and would overwhelm the state agencies charged with approving GHG permits. Furthermore, the letters say:

"There is the very real prospect that investments by businesses across the entire economy--the investments that drive economic recovery and job creation--will be delayed, curtailed or, even worse, cancelled. We expect the new rules will hamper new construction and modifications to existing plants in the United States."

The groups that signed the letters also caution that the threat to the economy isn't limited to the proposed GHG rules. "The regulation of GHG emissions from stationary sources is just one of a wave of pending regulations that EPA is proposing that pose a threat of economy-crushing effects of job creation," the letters say. They add the proposal to tighten the ozone standard and other air emission reductions "will impose a severe burden on American manufacturers," which in turn will have negative consequences for the economy, jobs and American consumers.