Chair Rodgers: “New EPA standards will devastate American manufacturing and jobs”
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following remarks at today’s Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing titled “Protecting American Manufacturing: Examining EPA’s Proposed PM2.5 Rule.”
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
BIDEN’S WAR ON PROSPERITY & OPPORTUNITY
“For decades, America has been the best place to do business, while also ensuring we have some of the highest environmental standards in the world.
"America has done more to lift people out of poverty and raise the standard of living than any other nation in the world.
“That prosperity and opportunity is being threatened today.
“President Biden’s radical rush-to-green agenda is raising costs across the board.
“People are suffering, every time they go to fill up their tank with gas, feed their families, and keep the lights on.
“Now, the EPA is attempting to take this extreme agenda one step further by proposing unattainable standards on fine particulate matter – or PM 2.5.
“This comes after EPA had already concluded the current standards are protective of public health, and this will be devastating for American businesses, people’s livelihoods, and our economic leadership.”
EPA IS CRUSHING AMERICAN JOBS & THE ECONOMY
“As we will hear from witnesses, if EPA finalizes these unrealistic PM standards, there will be far-reaching consequences, including pushing us further to the brink of a recession.
“These standards will make it nearly impossible to build new manufacturing facilities, including for things like EVs and semiconductors.
“It will undermine the work to expand America’s manufacturing base, making it impossible to secure our supply chains and build products that people have come to rely on every day.
“The harm would extend to nearly every sector of our economy as well, like power, agriculture, construction, and forestry.
“Studies indicate this could jeopardize hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. economic activity and millions of jobs.”
CURRENT STANDARDS ARE ENHANCING THE ENVIRONMENT
“The proposed standards could actually make it more difficult to protect people from harmful air pollutants, a fundamental responsibility of the EPA.
“By all measures, the nation’s air quality has improved dramatically since the Clean Air Act was signed into law, and the current standards are improving quality even more.
“Overall, emissions of pollutants regulated by air quality standards have dropped 73 percent since 1980.
“Air quality for this particular category today is more than 40 percent better than in 2000.
“All told, U.S. air quality is the best in the world, and it’s getting cleaner.
“Just three years ago, the EPA confirmed that the current standards for PM 2.5 were protective of public health, following a comprehensive review required by law.
“Despite this progress, the Biden EPA is taking steps to introduce these new, completely ‘divorced from reality’ standards.
“This will force investors and jobs out of the U.S. and benefit countries like China, the largest polluter in the world with the worst environmental standards.
"It could make air quality even worse for many Americans, as the new limits would prevent the needed management to prevent wildfires, which cause a lot of the PM emissions.”
GRIDLOCK LOCAL INVESTMENTS & BUSINESS
“This reckless agenda to crush American manufacturing will be unworkable for states and local governments, making it difficult to permit investments in their communities and grow their local economies.
"Behind me are the maps that show the current standard and the counties that are open for manufacturing, and then the nonattainment areas [with the most stringent proposed standards].
“A fifth of all U.S. counties could find that they’re not in compliance with the most radical levels the EPA is proposing.
“They’ll be gridlocked with new regulations and controls, losing opportunities to improve the lives of the people.
“Even areas that meet the standards will be unable to permit expanded or new manufacturing and industry, and depending on the level of these new standards, these burdens could extend across much of the nation, including the most economically active areas of the country.
"What we see is that the regulatory burdens and restrictions put in place already are crushing our economy, making it impossible to create economic opportunity. This is not how the Clean Air Act was meant to be used.
“We need to stay focused on the real goal, which is continued American economic leadership while also ensuring clean and safe communities for people and their families.
“This is how we’ve led for decades and how we continue to be a world leader in reducing emissions, improving air quality, lifting people out of poverty, and raising the standard of living.”