Upton Statement on New EPA Timeline for Costly Boiler Rules that Threaten U.S. Jobs

June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) today reiterated his support for bipartisan legislation to give additional time and guidelines for the EPA to develop achievable standards for non-utility boilers and incinerators. The Obama administration today set an aggressive schedule to finalize the reconsideration of its recently issued 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.

"The administration has repeatedly acknowledged that additional time and public input is needed to get these rules right. While I appreciate the agency's effort to set a schedule to tweak certain aspects of the rules, bureaucratic tinkering around the edges is not enough. The reconsideration process and the limited timeframe EPA has announced will prevent the agency from revising the rules in their entirety and addressing all the difficult technical issues that have been raised, which is what the administration had asked permission from the Court to do last year. The only way to truly stave off the economic and jobs threat of these rules is for Congress to pass legislation giving EPA the time to develop these rules and industry the time to adopt them."

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of Energy and Commerce Committee members introduced the EPA Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 2250), a bill designed to give EPA the time and parameters to develop standards that will protect public health and the environment without undue threats to jobs and our economy. To protect jobs and allow time for development of achievable standards, H.R. 2250 would:

"¢ Provide EPA with at least 15 months to re-propose and finalize new rules for boilers, process heaters, and incinerators;
 
"¢ Extend compliance deadlines from 3 to at least 5 years to allow facilities adequate time to comply with the standards and install necessary equipment;
 
"¢ Direct EPA, when developing the new rules, to adopt definitions that allow sources to use a wide range of alternative fuels; and
 
"¢ Direct EPA to ensure that the new rules are achievable by real-world boilers, process heaters, and incinerators and impose the least burdensome regulatory alternatives consistent with the President's Executive Order 13563.

The "EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011" was introduced by Reps. Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), together with Reps. John Barrow (D-GA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Pete Olson (R-TX), Mike Ross (D-AR), and Steve Scalise (R-LA). To view the text of the bill, please click HERE. For background information on the legislation, please click HERE