WASHINGTON, DC – Earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives approved bipartisan legislation to stop the politically appointed leaders of the EPA from unilaterally imposing costly and complex greenhouse gas regulations under the Clean Air Act. Members of Congress from both parties stood up to the EPA because these controversial regulations threaten to destroy jobs and further increase the price at the pump.
While supporters of these costly rules have attempted to gloss over their devastating economic costs, the regulations have already been used to significantly reduce the size of one affected project and, now, to delay it altogether while the regulations are used to stall the project in court.
“Two environmental groups have challenged the air pollution permit for a $750 million iron plant in southwestern Louisiana, which is the first project that was approved under the greenhouse gas regulations that were implemented by U.S. EPA in January.
“The petition, which was filed yesterday by the Sierra Club and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, asks EPA to throw the brakes on a $3.4 billion complex being developed in southeastern Louisiana by Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.”
(Gabriel Nelson, “Enviros challenge first greenhouse gas permit under EPA rules,” E&E, May 4, 2011)
The project will be delayed while the EPA responds to the challenge of the project. But this isn’t the first time the new plant has been stymied by the EPA’s new regulations.
At a February 9, 2011 hearing before the Energy and Power Subcommittee, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson boasted that “the proposed Nucor iron and steel facility in Louisiana has actually received the first-ever state-issued Clean Air Act construction permit for greenhouse gases.”
Of course, Jackson failed to note the project had to be significantly scaled back in order to comply with the cumbersome new rules. Nucor’s General Manager of Environmental Affairs Steve Rowlan had subsequently testified that the original project “was around 1,000 jobs when the full project was in, and we are around 150 jobs right now.”
From one thousand jobs to a smaller project tied up in the courts – this is the EPA’s greenhouse gas regulation in action.