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WASHINGTON ALERT


Stephanie Salmon, Artemis Strategies; Jeff Hannapel and Christian Richter, The Policy Group, Washington, D.C.


Battle Over Greenhouse Gas Laws Continues


New bills would limit EPA’s ability to impose greenhouse gas regulations. U


.S. Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas) introduced the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act (H.R. 6511) in December to prohibit the U.S. Envi-


ronmental Protection Agency (EPA) from spending federal money to implement a greenhouse gas cap-and- trade program or impose any new statutory or regulatory requirement related to greenhouse gas emissions on stationary sources. Specifically, the bill would prevent EPA from impos- ing limits under the Clean Air Act’s New Source Performance Standard or Prevention of Significant Deteriora- tion provisions. The legislation serves as a placeholder on the issue for reintroduction in the 112th


Congress. “The cap-and-trade national tax on


energy consumption is the mother of all mandates,” Poe said in a statement introducing the bill. “The American public has overwhelmingly disap- proved of this policy, and this bill will put an end to any back-door attempt to go around Congress and circumvent the will of the people.” U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.)


introduced a Senate bill imposing a two-year moratorium on EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases from power plants and other stationary emitters. These bills are the latest round in the


battle over which branch of government will control greenhouse gases—the leg- islative branch through a clean energy and climate bill or the executive branch by EPA regulation. Meanwhile, EPA has delayed issuing


revised air quality standards for ozone until July so it can consider further recommendations from a panel of scientific advisers. EPA had planned to issue the final national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for ozone by Dec. 31, 2010. EPA spokesperson Brendan Gilfillan said the agency needs additional time for the Clean Air Sci- entific Advisory Committee to provide “further interpretation” of the studies it


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reviewed when it recommended EPA set the health-based ozone standards in a range between 0.06 parts per million (ppm) and 0.07 ppm. EPA said it intends to issue the


final standards within that range but will first ask the panel, “for further input on how they considered and weighed the many health studies, including the clinical and epidemio- logical studies, to select a level of the standard from within the range. As part of the reconsideration process, the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Com- mittee was limited to reviewing the epidemiological data that was avail- able at the time EPA set the ozone standard in 2008. This would be the third time EPA


has postponed issuing the revised stan- dards. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said he was disappointed with the delay because it will postpone state efforts to reduce ambient concentrations of the pollutant. “The EPA’s decision leaves thou-


sands of Delawarians and millions of Americans unprotected from harmful ozone air pollution under the outdated, ineffective ozone standard,” he said in a statement. “This decision also keeps states in limbo about what standards they need to meet, forcing them to continue to postpone significant deci- sions today to clean our air tomorrow.” The ozone standards have been sub-


ject to criticism by industry groups and some senators who say a more stringent standard would impair economic growth. “We welcome the news the EPA


will delay its final rule for the ozone NAAQS,” said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the America Petroleum In- stitute, in a statement. “We hope [the] decision means EPA will simply roll this out-of-cycle proposal into the next formal ozone review, which is scheduled to begin shortly.”


MC


The next scheduled review of the ozone standards is in 2013.


On the Hill


U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers


House Names New Committee Chairmen New standing committee chair-


men have been appointed for the 112th


Congress. They include Rep.


Hal Rogers (R-Ky.), Appropriations; Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Energy and Commerce; Rep. Darrell Issa (R- Calif.), Oversight and Government Reform; Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), Science and Technology; and Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Small Business. Rogers has announced plans to in- crease oversight of EPA regulations, including those addressing green- house gas emissions, and bring in witnesses from the private sector to testify to the effects of the rules. MC


SBA Finds Burden of Rules is Growing A study produced for the Small


Business Administration (SBA), The Impact of Regulatory Costs on Small Firms, has found that the total cost of federal regulations has increased to $1.75 trillion. Firms with 20 to 499 typically paid $7,454 per employee in 2008 to comply with federal regula- tions. According to the report, the cost per employee for firms with fewer than 20 employees is now $10,585. On a per-employee basis, this cost is $2,830 higher than the cost to companies with more than 20 employees. Federal standards exam- ined by the SBA included economic regulations, such as compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, environmental regulations, tax reporting and record-keeping, and occupational safety and homeland security rules. The report reveals that the disproportionate cost burden on small firms is particularly high for the manufacturing sector. MC The copy of the full report is avail-


able on the SBA website at www.sba. gov/advo/research/rs371.pdf.


MODERN CASTING / January 2011


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