As Congressional Democrats and President Obama have been waging war on American jobs through their massive health care overhaul and its tax-ridden agenda, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has quietly launched an attack on jobs by proposing to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
Although the House passed a cap-and-tax bill and the Senate is contemplating similar legislation, the EPA has unilaterally proposed a series of regulations that would require businesses to certify they have limited carbon emissions or pay steep fines. These regulations are a result of their “endangerment finding” under the Clean Air Act that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses pose a threat to human life. In actuality, this so-called endangerment finding is an executive overreach and a back-door attempt to institute a national energy tax on our economy and jobs.
In time, the new permitting and pollution control rules for certain entities would potentially sweep in millions of very small sources of greenhouse gas emissions – office buildings, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, churches, farms and other small businesses. The rules flowing from the endangerment finding would subject millions of entities to new permitting requirements, would cost billions of dollars just to do the paperwork and processing, be administratively impossible, and do little to protect the environment.
The endangerment finding, rushed by the Obama administration and the EPA without regard to its overall economic impacts, represents a clear-and-present danger to our economy and to all of our efforts to provide the conditions for job growth and prosperity.
In fact, the EPA stated that it has not fully assessed the impact on jobs or employment of moving forward with greenhouse gas rules nor that it has prepared evaluations of possible job loss or shifts in employment that may occur because of the new or future rules. Furthermore, the executive agency also confirmed that persons who violate the new greenhouse gas regulations will be subject to possible enforcement actions, civil or criminal penalties, and citizen suit litigation.
All in all, the new EPA permitting rules perpetuate substantial regulatory uncertainty for nearly all major sectors of the economy, will delay or halt major new construction projects and business activity, deter new investment and business activity, and ultimately stifle job creation and growth.
Rather than continue down the path of economic uncertainty and job losses, over 100 of my colleagues and I have introduced a resolution of disapproval that will prevent the EPA from promulgating a cascade of anti-growth rules and requirements. In addition, last year I introduced a comprehensive energy bill, the American Energy Production and Cost Reduction Act, that will reduce our nation’s costly dependence on foreign oil, boost our economy, and lower energy costs.
Now more than ever, with the national unemployment rate stubbornly hovering around 10 percent and 15 million Americans unemployed, the EPA’s actions must be opposed and American-made energy must be bolstered.