The TRAIN Act (H.R. 2401)
On July 26, 2011, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation to provide for an honest accounting of the cost of EPA’s regulations. The legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 249 to 169.
Numerous federal rules affect U.S. industries and the jobs they provide. Some rules increase reporting requirements, which means more time and money spent filling out paperwork. Other rules require industries to change the way they operate, retrofitting their facilities with new equipment or changing manufacturing processes. While these regulations are sometimes evaluated on an individual basis, the federal government has not assessed the cumulative impact of the layers upon layers of regulations our job creators face.
The TRAIN act will provide answers
Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice Chairman John Sullivan (R-OK) and subcommittee member Jim Matheson (D-UT) introduced the bipartisan legislation to finally measure the full consequences of recently imposed environmental regulations.
The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts to the Nation (TRAIN) Act, H.R. 2401, will require an interagency committee to analyze the cumulative economic impacts of certain environmental regulations in an effort to better understand how these policies affect American manufacturing, global competitiveness, energy prices, and jobs.
Working with experts from across the federal government, three expert agencies – the Department of Commerce, the United States International Trade Commission, and the Department of Treasury – will examine the combined effect of major rules recently issued or planned by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agencies will analyze the cumulative effect of these many costly rules on consumers, farming businesses, and state and local governments.
The TRAIN Act: What it Will Do
- H.R. 2401 will require the interagency committee to assess the combined impacts of recent large environmental regulations. It will analyze global economic competitiveness of the United States and the effect of regulations on electricity prices, fuel prices, employment, and the reliability of the electricity supply.
- The TRAIN Act will assess how regulations affect consumers, small businesses, state, local and tribal governments, local and industry-specific labor markets, and agriculture.
- An initial draft of the report will be made available for public comment and the interagency committee will respond to comments in the final report.
- In addition, the House-passed version of H.R. 2401 will delay implementation of EPA's controversial Utility MACT rule and new transport rule to ensure that the economic impacts of these two major rules in conjunction with other EPA rules are fully understood. The rules are estimated to result in 1.44 million lost job-years by 2020 and an increase in electricity prices by 12% nationally and as high as 24% in certain states by 2016.
The TRAIN Act: What it Will Not Do
- The TRAIN Act will not prevent EPA from continuing to develop regulations.
- The TRAIN Act will not limit EPA’s authority to protect public health and welfare in any way.
- The TRAIN Act will not compel any legal regulatory framework to be based upon the final analysis. NERA Economic Consulting has estimated preliminary costs for the two rules to be $17.8 billion annually, and a total cost of $184 billion (present value) for the period 2011-2030, price increases of 12% nationally in 2016 and as high as 24% in certain states, and 1.44 million lost job-years by 2020.