|7:19 PM EDT||
Ed Whitfield, R-KY 1st
Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time.
Once again I want to thank Dr. Cassidy for authoring this bill and bringing it to the House floor.
I would like to remind everyone that EPA has made great strides. We all recognize the improvements that have been made in our air quality, water quality, particulate matter, et cetera. As a matter of fact, carbon dioxide emissions are the lowest that they've been in 20 years here in America. Yet I would say that EPA is not the Holy Grail. The EPA does make mistakes.
I would like to just read a couple of comments from some witnesses who testified over the last year at the Energy and Commerce Committee's Energy and Power Subcommittee. Dr. Peter Valberg, former member of the Harvard School of Public Health, testified that ``there are major questions about EPA's forecast of serious health effects caused by small increments in particulate matter levels. EPA's statistical approach is fraught with numerous assumptions and uncertainties.''
Dr. Tony Cox of the Colorado School of Public Health testified that ``the use of statistical associations to address causal questions about health effects of regulation is not only technically incorrect, but, as practiced by EPA and others, is also highly misleading to policymakers.''
Then Dr. Anne Smith, an economist with NERA Economic Consulting, talked about the uncertainties and the statistical models used by EPA having serious flaws.
All we're saying is at a time when the economy is struggling--particularly now--and when EPA is the most aggressive that it has been in recent memory--as a matter of fact, even though our CO
2 emissions are down to the lowest level in 20 years, America is the only country in the world where you cannot build a new coal-powered plant. All this legislation does is it says if EPA comes up with a new regulation, energy related, that costs over a billion dollars, they've got to make a report to Congress.
Then the Secretary of Energy, working with the Secretary of Commerce and the Small Business Administration and the Energy Information Agency, they will look and they will see what is the impact of this regulation upon the cost of energy, the cost of gasoline, the cost of electricity; what is the impact on causing jobs to be lost or a plant maybe not to be built and a job will be lost or a plant will close. So it's not dictating anything.
It's the Cabinet members of the same administration simply reviewing all of the evidence, doing its own analysis, and then deciding that if it has significant impact on the economy, then they can rule that the regulation will not take effect, at which point the EPA can go back, make some adjustments, and redo it.
I think it's a good piece of legislation that provides additional transparency and additional review of the regulation, the impact on the economy, the impact on jobs, the impact on prices. And what is wrong with that? What is wrong with the Congress getting a report back from the agency and letting the other Department heads in the government review it? That's all this legislation is about.
I urge Members to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.
The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the 5-minute rule.
In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the 5-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-19. That amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read.
The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013''.
SEC. 2. PROHIBITION AGAINST FINALIZING CERTAIN ENERGY-RELATED RULES THAT WILL CAUSE SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE EFFECTS TO THE ECONOMY.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, 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 if the Secretary of Energy determines under section 3(3) that the rule will cause significant adverse effects to the economy.
SEC. 3. REPORTS AND DETERMINATIONS PRIOR TO PROMULGATING AS FINAL CERTAIN ENERGY-RELATED RULES.
Before promulgating as final any energy-related rule that is estimated to cost more than $1 billion:
(1) REPORT TO CONGRESS.--The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall submit to Congress a report (and transmit a copy to the Secretary of Energy) containing--
(A) a copy of the rule;
(B) a concise general statement relating to the rule;
(C) an estimate of the total costs of the rule, including the direct costs and indirect costs of the rule;
(D) an estimate of the total benefits of the rule, an estimate of when such benefits are expected to be realized, and a description of the modeling, the assumptions, and the limitations due to uncertainty, speculation, or lack of information associated with the estimates under this subparagraph;
(E) an estimate of the increases in energy prices, including potential increases in gasoline or electricity prices for consumers, that may result from implementation or enforcement of the rule; and
(F) a detailed description of the employment effects, including potential job losses and shifts in employment, that may result from implementation or enforcement of the rule.
(2) INITIAL DETERMINATION ON INCREASES AND IMPACTS.--The Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Administrator of the Energy Information Administration, shall prepare an independent analysis to determine whether the rule will cause--
(A) any increase in energy prices for consumers, including low-income households, small businesses, and manufacturers;
(B) any impact on fuel diversity of the Nation's electricity generation portfolio or on national, regional, or local electric reliability;
(C) any adverse effect on energy supply, distribution, or use due to the economic or technical infeasibility of implementing the rule; or
(D) any other adverse effect on energy supply, distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply and increased use of foreign supplies).
(3) SUBSEQUENT DETERMINATION ON ADVERSE EFFECTS TO THE ECONOMY.--If the Secretary of Energy determines, under paragraph (2), that the rule will cause an increase, impact, or effect described in such paragraph, then the Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Labor, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, shall--
(A) determine whether the rule will cause significant adverse effects to the economy, taking into consideration--
(i) the costs and benefits of the rule and limitations in calculating such costs and benefits due to uncertainty, speculation, or lack of information; and
(ii) the positive and negative impacts of the rule on economic indicators, including those related to gross domestic product, unemployment, wages, consumer prices, and business and manufacturing activity; and
(B) publish the results of such determination in the Federal Register.
SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) The terms ``direct costs'' and ``indirect costs'' have the meanings given such terms in chapter 8 of the Environmental Protection Agency's ``Guidelines for Preparing Economic Analyses'' dated December 17, 2010.
(2) The term ``energy-related rule that is estimated to cost more than $1 billion'' means a rule of the Environmental Protection Agency that--
(A) regulates any aspect of the production, supply, distribution, or use of energy or provides for such regulation by States or other governmental entities; and
(B) is estimated by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to impose direct costs and indirect costs, in the aggregate, of more than $1,000,000,000.
(3) The term ``rule'' has the meaning given to such term in section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
The CHAIR. No amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part B of House Report 113-174. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand
for division of the question.
AMENDMENT NO. 1 OFFERED BY MR.
The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in part B of House Report 113-174.