|7:11 PM EDT||
Henry Waxman, D-CA 33rd
Mr. WAXMAN. So, under those circumstances, I would like to yield myself the balance of my time.
Madam Chair, there was a claim from one of the supporters of this bill that the EPA is using faulty science to justify its rules. In fact, the proponents of this bill are using faulty examples to try to justify this ridiculous bill. For example, the gentleman from Louisiana's chief example of a faulty EPA rule is what he refers to as a ``formaldehyde rule.'' In fact, this isn't a rule. It is a draft scientific assessment that is completely unrelated to the energy-related rules that are the subject
of this bill. I do want to point out that pollution control regulations create jobs because they create clean technologies that the whole world wants. [Page: H5246]
The proponents of this bill claim they are worried about jobs and the unemployed. I think they're crying crocodile tears. The Republicans are for the sequestration, which is costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. They are threatening the U.S. with default. They are against food stamps for people who don't have jobs and who don't have food to eat. Give me a break. They're not trying to save jobs; they're trying to save some of these big polluting industries that have to pay to reduce their pollution.
Now, we've heard that this bill is going to provide more checks and balances because the EPA will then have its rules reviewed by the Department of Energy, but EPA rules go through a very extensive interagency process. Other agencies, including the Department of Energy, can make their views known to the EPA. The Office of Management and Budget already has the ability to have any concerns addressed before they allow EPA rules to go forward. These rules go through months or even years of scrutiny
before they are issued, but this bill creates a new, unchecked authority for the Department of Energy to veto public health rules. That's a terrible idea.
Why would we give one agency the unchecked authority to block another agency's rules? There are plenty of checks and balances in the existing law.
Then we hear the argument that this bill is really about transparency because somebody else should be overseeing EPA rulemaking. But, in fact, this bill will do the opposite. The bill creates a duplicative and confused regulatory process for EPA rules. After EPA has done its analysis, they've weighed the risks and the costs and the benefits, they've heard from people who are claiming the costs are too high, they've heard from people claiming the benefits are not enough. Whatever the claims are,
they evaluate those claims based on science. And according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, if we let EPA review all these regulations again from scratch, the taxpayers are going to pay $35 billion.
The bill gives the Department of Energy an unprecedented veto over EPA public health rules. And you know what? There's no public comment when DOE does that. They don't hear from the public. They'll hear from the industry, but they won't hear from the public. They're not equipped to evaluate the scientific health benefits. They're looking at the costs. It's a skewed DOE analysis. This bill is not about transparency.
We were told this is not over any simple rules; it's only over the expensive ones, regulations that will cost over a billion dollars. A billion dollars over a year? A billion dollars over 10 years? A billion dollars over 20 years? There is no definition of that. They say a billion dollars. Okay. But that could, then, be used to stop a rule that is far less than what people think it would cost, and, of course, the benefits have to outweigh the cost before the rule can even be issued by EPA.
I want to give a good example of regulations that would be stopped by this legislation. EPA and the Department of Transportation work together on tailpipe standards and fuel efficiency rules for automobiles and other motor vehicles. There are huge benefits. They help consumers save money at the pump. When you have a car that runs on more miles per gallon, you're saving money. We're also protecting the environment because we're not burning as much carbon.
Under the rules, by 2025, Americans will be able to travel twice as far on a gallon of gas, which will save consumers thousands of dollars. But that rule won't go into effect because the DOE now has to get involved. Transportation and EPA are proposing rules over their jurisdiction, over transportation and over air pollution. These rules, which could lead to consumers seeing gasoline at the pump drop by over a dollar a gallon, could be held up.
And even though these rules are all supported by the major auto companies, including Ford, GM, and Chrysler, these rules will cut U.S. emissions and carbon pollution by $6 billion, but this bill could prevent EPA from adopting new vehicle rules that will save consumers even more money and continue to address the threat of climate change.
This is a very bad bill. It doesn't make sense, and I urge my colleagues to vote against it.
I yield back the balance of my time.