|6:39 PM EDT||
Ed Whitfield, R-KY 1st
Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
This evening, we will be debating H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, authored by the distinguished gentleman from Louisiana (Mr. Cassidy), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Madam Chairman, one of the major issues that the American people face today is a slow growth in its economy. Our economy has been sluggish for some time. The last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, gross domestic product grew by less than 2 percent. And in the last 15 quarters, the growth of our economy in America has been the slowest since World War II. So we need to do everything in this country to promote economic growth, and this bill looks at the impact of regulations as obstacles
to economic growth.
I want to just read a few of the regulations that have been adopted by EPA since January 2009:
Greenhouse gas regulations for cars, and these are EPA numbers. It cost $52 billion. Greenhouse gas standards for cars 2017-2025, $144 billion; greenhouse gas standards for trucks, $8 billion; Utility MACT, $9.6 billion annually; Boiler MACT, $2.2 billion annually.
Now, I could go on and on, but I think that that shows that the cost of some of these regulations present serious obstacles to economic growth. So the legislation that we consider tonight is simply a commonsense approach, a way to review the impact of energy-related regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency.
All this legislation does is this:
The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may not promulgate as final an energy-related rule that is estimated to cost more than $1 billion unless:
One, they make a report to Congress setting out what the regulation does; and
Two, the Secretary of Energy, working with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Small Business Administration will look at these regulations and look at the impact on consumer energy cost, the impact on employment, and the impact on economic growth. The Department of Energy certainly has the expertise to analyze these kinds of figures, and if the Secretary determines that it would be harmful to
economic growth, then the Secretary can actually stop the regulation from taking effect.
Now, the good news is, at that point, EPA could go back and redo the process. But I can tell you, from my personal experience of working with people in my district who are affected by regulations every day, most people genuinely believe that there's not anything wrong with having other government agencies review the impact of the cost of regulations on the economy, on jobs, on the price of fuel. That's precisely what Dr. Cassidy's bill does. I think it's a commonsense approach and something
that the American people need as additional protections.
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.