House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade, under the chairmanship of Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), today held a hearing to examine how small business would be affected by the regulatory limitations on emissions outlined in the President's Climate Action Plan and review the EPA's compliance obligations under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA).
“The President’s Climate Action Plan is an unnecessary attack on American energy and jobs,” said Chairman Tipton. “It will impose costly and burdensome regulations on American firms and small businesses that won’t be met by our overseas competitors. When the U.S. should be pursuing a responsible all-of-the-above energy strategy to lower energy costs, the President’s Climate Action plan will effectively shut down coal as an energy resource, force the premature retirement of a significant portion of our nation’s electricity generating capacity, and result in the loss of many more jobs in industries that rely on coal as an affordable source of energy. The President’s Climate Action Plan is nothing more than an attempt to circumvent Congress and impose a national energy tax by regulatory fiat.
“To make matters worse, the EPA has failed in its obligations to consult with and consider the impacts of its regulations on small businesses under the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The President’s directives to the agency to initiate and finalize rulemaking before all of the small business implications of these rules are known further demonstrates that promises to reduce regulatory burdens on small businesses are like promises to pursue an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy – throw away lines in a speech.”
The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) of 1980 requires federal agencies to assess the economic impact of their regulations on small businesses, and if the impact is significant, consider alternatives that are less burdensome before the rule is finalized. House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and House Judiciary Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) introduced the bipartisan Regulatory Flexibility Improvements Act of 2013 (HR 2542) on June 28th makes the RFA stronger by removing loopholes that agencies have used to avoid compliance with the law.
Materials for the hearing are posted on the House Small Business Committee’s website HERE.
James L. Brown, President of Bremen Castings in Bremen, IN said, “As an energy-intensive manufacturer, I am very concerned about the consequences of the President’s plan outlined on June 25th to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new, modified, and existing power plants on my foundry, our industry and manufacturers across the U.S. I believe these new rules will cause power plants to close, drive-up power costs for households and businesses across the country, and especially harm manufacturing-heavy states. Additionally, these new regulations abandon an all-of-the-above energy policy and will threaten the foundry industry’s ability to remain competitive in this international manufacturing environment.”
Bernard Weinstein, Maguire Energy Institute, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX said, “Addressing global climate change is no easy task. However, the command and control regulations suggested by the President and his environmentalist supporters miss important opportunities, harm households and small businesses by increasing electricity prices, and will do little to address actual environmental challenges.”
Michael Kezar, General Manager of San Miguel Cooperative, Inc. in Jourdanton, TX said, “EPA’s guidelines require that small business representatives who participate on Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act panels be given adequate background information on the rulemaking, as well as options to lessen the economic impact on small business entities of the regulatory program in question. However, in the last two Clean Air Act major rulemakings directed at fossil-fuel fired electric generation - the new source NSPS and the UMATS rules - EPA failed to provide small business representatives with any regulatory options, let alone allowing an opportunity for panel members to meaningfully comment on alternatives to lessen economic impacts on small businesses.”