EPA’s List of Billion-Dollar Rules Long and Growing

July 10, 2013

The Energy and Power Subcommittee today approved an important piece of legislation designed to protect Americans from expensive new EPA regulations that threaten to drive up energy costs for consumers and families and destroy jobs. Rep. Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) commonsense Energy Consumers Relief Act, H.R. 1582, will require that before EPA finalizes any new energy-related rules estimated to cost more than $1 billion, the agency must submit a report to Congress detailing certain cost, energy price, and job impacts, and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with other relevant agencies, must make certain additional determinations relating to the rule. The bill would ensure greater transparency and interagency review of EPA’s billion-dollar energy rules and prohibit EPA from finalizing certain rules if the Secretary of Energy determines the rule would cause significant adverse effects to the economy.

This increased transparency and oversight of EPA’s rulemaking process is necessary given the agency’s massive expansion of red tape. Over the past four years, EPA has finalized a number of major new rules imposing billions of dollars in compliance costs, and EPA currently has more regulatory actions under review with OMB than any other agency.

EPA’s regulatory overreach is bad news for jobs and the economy. IHS Global Insight estimated in the context of EPA’s boiler regulations that every $1 billion spent on upgrade and compliance costs would put 16,000 jobs at risk and reduce U.S. GDP by as much as $1.2 billion. The American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) also testified last Congress regarding EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations that “each $1 billion dollar decrease in investment is associated with a loss of 15,500 jobs in the U.S.”

EPA’s list of billion-dollar rules is long and still growing. President Obama recently announced EPA would move forward with new greenhouse regulations for existing power plants, adding to the some 80 greenhouse gas related rules already proposed by the agency since 2009. H.R. 1582 will help protect Americans from potential adverse economic or employment consequences of future billion-dollar energy rules. Already finalized or proposed rules that are expected, based on EPA’s own estimates, to impose costs of more than $1 billion include: 

Final Rules and EPA Cost Estimates

Pending Rules and EPA Cost Estimates