Energy and Commerce Committee Announces Fall Agenda - Upton Vows Action to Rescue Jobs and Economy From President's Regulatory Wish List

September 6, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today announced highlights of the Committee's pro-jobs, pro-growth agenda for the fall. Across the board, the Committee is working on legislative solutions to protect families and jobs from the economically devastating regulations imposed, proposed, and contemplated by the Obama Administration - regulations that will cost billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to implement. 

Upton made the following statement regarding the Committee's fall agenda:

"For the last year, the Energy and Commerce Committee has been fighting the Obama Administration's massive regulatory expansion that threatens countless middle class jobs and further undercuts a sputtering economy that clearly needs relief. We have crafted thoughtful, bipartisan solutions to protect working families and plan to move forward this fall on these and other solutions to rescue our economic recovery and fiscal future from the onslaught of regulatory red tape on the Obama Administration's wish list.

"The American public is desperate for more jobs, and Energy and Commerce Republicans understand the fundamental economic principle that reducing regulatory burdens is imperative to spur job growth and economic recovery. Our future depends on our economic growth, and our economic growth depends on our regulatory future. As the President prepares his latest jobs plan, he could make a real difference for this economy and job growth by simply scrapping his own aggressive and voluntary regulatory agenda and adopt an immediate moratorium on any regulation that will harm job growth. His decision late last week to set aside the controversial ozone proposal was a welcome first step and underscores that the president has the power to stop these harmful rules if he is willing. I would suggest the President keep the Hippocratic Oath in mind when considering his economic plan - first, do no harm."   

The fall agenda includes, but is not limited to:

Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade
With new technologies leaving consumers uncertain about how their personal information is collected and maintained online, privacy will continue to be a top priority for the subcommittee. Among areas of concern include consumer knowledge of online data collection and opportunities to control what information is obtained and maintained; aggregation and anonymization of individually identifiable information; the role of data collection to improve the online user experience and provide free online content; the ability to mitigate unwanted marketing and other targeted outreach or rejection of services based on an individual's online profile; and the competitive consequences of different foreign privacy regimes for American firms. Pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea are also high on the agenda as opening our markets will put folks back to work and provide an important boost to our sagging economy.

Subcommittee on Communications and Technology
Broadband and wireless spectrum policy are vital jobs issues and spectrum legislation and FCC process reform will be at the forefront to advance wireless broadband, promote deployment of an interoperable broadband public safety network, create jobs, and reduce the deficit. The economic impact of streamlined regulations can be significant - in the last decade, the wireless industry has invested more than $240 billion on network structures and equipment. Combine the growing need for wireless broadband deployment with the private sector's resources, and the industry is ripe for job seekers. 

Subcommittee on Energy and Power
In addition to the numerous bills generated by the subcommittee to protect the American economy from the Obama EPA's regulatory assault on job creators, electricity reliability implications of EPA's far reaching rules will be a top priority. Protecting and safeguarding our nation's extensive network of oil and gas pipelines is also a priority this fall, with legislation expected as early as September.

Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy
The subcommittee is shepherding legislation to protect jobs and prevent higher energy prices by ensuring the continued beneficial use and safe management of coal combustion residuals. Among its many safe uses, coal ash has been commonly used in roofing shingles, concrete, and particle board. The subcommittee will continue its ongoing investigation into the Obama Administration's politically motivated efforts to terminate the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository.

Subcommittee on Health
A top priority for the subcommittee is improving the FDA regulatory process for medical devices and prescription drugs in an effort to protect jobs, improve patient care, and spur innovation. The. U.S. traditionally has been the leader in the medical device industry employing an estimated 420,000 Americans, but the lack of predictability and consistency at FDA currently force research and development, manufacturing and new product approvals to Europe, costing American jobs and limiting U.S. patients' access to revolutionary new devices. The subcommittee is also working to protect the health plans that Americans currently have and like from disappearing or being forced to change because of Obamacare's rigid "grandfathering" regulations that significantly restrict protections for existing plans. And because patient care would be significantly harmed by the scheduled 30 percent reduction in Medicare payments, the subcommittee will continue exploring solutions to the flawed Sustainable Growth Rate formula.

Subcommittee On Oversight and Investigations
The subcommittee will continue it's Regulatory Reform Series, identifying job-crushing regulations that are harming job growth.  The subcommittee will also launch a series of hearings to identify wasteful or duplicative programs in the federal bureaucracy. A top priority for the subcommittee will be improving our nation's cybersecurity to protect our infrastructure - including the electric grid, defense capabilities, sensitive government network systems, and other key systems - from growing threats and vulnerabilities. The subcommittee's six-month investigation into the suspect $535 million Department of Energy loan guarantee to now-bankrupt Solyndra will also be a priority to ensure taxpayer dollars are invested wisely.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor recently announced the House is expected to consider several Energy and Commerce Committee pro-jobs, pro-growth bills, including:

Energy and Commerce solution to Utility MACT and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule 
H.R. 2401, the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), would require a cumulative economic analysis for specific EPA rules, and specifically delay the final date for both the utility MACT and CSAPR rules until the full impact of the Obama Administration's regulatory agenda has been studied. In total, 1,000 power plants are expected to be affected by the new rules and middle class Americans' annual electricity bill could increase in many parts of the country of anywhere from 12 to 24 percent.

Energy and Commerce solution to Boiler MACT
H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), would provide a legislative stay of four interrelated rules issued by the EPA in March of this year. The legislation would also provide the EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new, achievable rules that do not destroy jobs, and provide employers with an extended compliance period. These new stringent rules will impose billions of dollars in capital and compliance costs, increase the cost of many goods and services, and put over 200,000 jobs at risk. 

Energy and Commerce solution to Cement MACT
H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, sponsored by Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), would provide a legislative stay of these three rules and provide EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new, achievable rules that do not destroy jobs, and provide employers with an extended compliance period. Increased costs and regulatory uncertainty for the American cement industry"”the foundation of nearly all infrastructure projects"”are likely to offshore thousands of American jobs. 

Energy and Commerce Solution to new Coal Ash regulations
H.R. 2273, the Coals Residuals Reuse and Management Act, sponsored by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV), would create an enforceable minimum standard for the regulation of coal ash by the states, allowing their use in a safe manner that protects jobs. EPA's plans to regulate coal ash under Subtitle C of the Solid Waste Disposal Act will cost billions of dollars, affecting everything   from concrete production to building products like wall board, resulting in an estimated loss of well over 100,000 jobs.

View Majority Leader Cantor's memo HERE to view additional Energy and Commerce agenda items slated for House consideration in the upcoming months including grandfathered health plans, farm dust, and EPA's pending greenhouse gas new source performance standards.