The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

House Limits Funding for EPA's GHG Regulations

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 22, 2011

On Saturday, February 19th the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, for 2011. The Continuing Resolution (CR), which would fund the government through the end of Fiscal Year 2011, includes provisions that limit funding for several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions that have been called prime examples of the agency overreaching its authority. In lopsided votes, the House voted to cut funding to implement EPA's E15 waivers, its decision block to air quality permits that are a requirement for drilling permits on Alaska's Arctic coast, and its rules to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Since the beginning of this year, EPA has been phasing in GHG regulations that are aimed at reducing emissions from stationary sources, including oil refineries, hospitals and power plants. It has been estimated that more than 6 million businesses, agricultural and industrial facilities could eventually have to obtain GHG permits to expand or even to continue operating. EPA's GHG actions place a tremendous regulatory burden on state resources and may be found unlawful. Furthermore, the uncertainty associated with the lack of clear guidance from EPA about how to comply with these regulations could result in additional loss of investment and jobs.

Section 1746 of the CR, along with an amendment by Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX) would limit EPA's funding to implement these regulations. On Feb. 16, several groups, including API, sent a letter to all members of the House of Representatives, encouraging them to support this section. The letter cited a study showing the EPA's GHG regulations could result in the loss of 476,000 to 1,400,000 jobs:

"Congress, not unelected bureaucrats at the EPA, should be setting America's energy policy. Without a clear signal from Congress, EPA's GHG regulations will make it difficult to attract new manufacturing capacity and may seriously threaten the viability of existing facilities and the valuable jobs they provide...The funds limitation provision in H.R. 1, Section 1746 sends EPA a very simple message: Stop regulating GHGs at stationary sources. Stop jeopardizing jobs and economic recovery."

API is pleased to see the House of Representatives taking steps to address EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions, and is looking to Democrats and Republicans in Congress to work together to craft a permanent resolution to stop EPA from burdening the U.S. economy with these harmful and unnecessary regulations.

The Senate is expected to vote on the CR next week. The current CR expires March 4th.