House Leaders Welcome Bipartisan Senate Effort to Protect Jobs by Improving and Extending Time to Meet Boiler Rules

July 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today praised introduction of the Senate's EPA Regulatory Relief Act, a bipartisan Senate proposal that shares many features of a bill introduced last month in the House to protect hundreds of thousands of jobs. Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) joined Upton in welcoming the bill's introduction as a signal of progress toward regulatory relief in this area become law; Griffith and Butterfield are the lead sponsors of the House's EPA Regulatory Relief Act.

Both the House and Senate plans are designed to ensure standards for non-utility boilers and incinerators are practical and achievable, and that additional compliance time is granted for facilities to implement the new standards and requirements, including time to obtain necessary permits, and to procure and install control equipment to meet the new rules. The Energy and Commerce Committee is expected to take up H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act introduced by four Republicans and four Democrats on the committee, this fall so the bill can be brought to a vote in the full House and sent to the president for enactment by the end of this year.

"Clearly there is a strong and growing bipartisan consensus in favor of sensible regulations that protect jobs while modernizing our facilities. I am encouraged to see such a strong bipartisan and bicameral effort to save jobs from regulatory destruction, and I look forward to a strong House vote this fall," said Upton. "We will continue working with members on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to ensure the strongest protections become law and no sector is left victim to rules that are confusing and impossible to achieve."

"The EPA Regulatory Relief Act grants the EPA the time they have requested to put forth regulations that are actually achievable and will also give the industry more time to comply with the EPA's rules. I have been encouraged by the positive response to this legislation from various industries as well as the support from my colleagues in the House," said Griffith. "I am pleased that Senator Collins, along with a bipartisan group in the Senate, introduced similar legislation to delay the Boiler MACT rules. I look forward to working with the Senate to ensure this regulatory relief bill becomes law in order to protect valuable American jobs."

"This legislation is a fine example of bipartisan and bicameral cooperation, which I believe gives EPA adequate time to get the standard right; the results of which will protect public health and jobs in places like eastern North Carolina," said Butterfield.

BACKGROUND: On June 21, a bipartisan group of members of the Energy and Commerce Committee introduced H.R. 2250, the EPA Regulatory Relief Act, which directs EPA to develop achievable standards for non-utility boilers and incinerators (generally referred to as Boiler MACT rules). The bill also grants additional time for development of and compliance with the rules. Economic analyses have projected that compliance with the rules as currently proposed could cost in excess of $14 billion, which could put more than 200,000 jobs at risk.