Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stopping Burdensome Regulations- TRAIN ACT

Oklahoma’s Representative John Sullivan introduced the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act of 2011 on June 24 2011. On September 23 it passed the house by a vote of 249 – 169 and was sent to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the 26th.
The TRAIN Act is intended to require the federal government to evaluate how the cumulative impacts of various regulations proposed or implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) would impact the economy. The bill would establish an interagency committee to estimate the cumulative economic impact (jobs, energy prices, and reliability) of regulations developed in the name of “global warming.” Additionally, the bill would delay two proposed EPA rules regarding utility boilers and addressing interstate emissions for at least six months after the report is released.
Specifically, H.R. 2401 would require the President to establish a committee to be known as the Committee for the Cumulative Analysis of Regulations that Impact Energy and Manufacturing in the United States to “analyze and report on the cumulative and incremental impacts of certain rules and actions of the Environmental Protection Agency.” The committee will consist of eleven cabinet level members, including the EPA Administrator, and will be chaired the Secretary of Commerce. The Committee would terminate within 60 days of producing a final report to Congress by August 1, 2012.
The report would require the Committee to conduct analyses for the years 2016, 2020, and 2030 that evaluates the cumulative impact of covered rules that are promulgated as final regulations on or before January 1, 2012, in combination with covered actions, and rules that have not been promulgated as final regulations on or before January 1, 2012. Additionally, the committee is required to evaluate the incremental impacts of each covered rule not promulgated as a final regulation on or before January 1, 2012 with specific consideration to:
the global economic competitiveness of the United States, particularly with respect to energy intensive and trade sensitive industries;
other cumulative costs and cumulative benefits, including evaluation through a general equilibrium model approach;
any resulting change in national, State, and regional electricity prices;
any resulting change in national, State, and regional fuel prices;
the impact on national, State, and regional employment during the 5-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, and also in the long term, including secondary impacts associated with increased energy prices and facility closures; and
the reliability and adequacy of bulk power supply in the United States.”
The bill also requires a discussion of uncertainties and assumptions associated with each estimate, a sensitivity analysis, and cumulative impact of the covered rules and covered actions on:
small businesses;
regional economies;
state, local, and tribal governments;
local and industry-specific labor markets;
agriculture; and
key uncertainties associated with each topic.”
Additionally, covered rules include any EPA rule or guideline promulgated under the Clean Air Act to address climate change, any rule or guideline promulgated by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, a state, a local government, or a permitting agency under specific provisions of the Clean Air Act or any rule establishing or modifying a national ambient air quality standard under section 109 of the Clean Air Act.
This is one of a number of bills being considered to allow congress to stop regulatory sidestepping of failed laws by the executive branch. This is also one a bill that has the potential to help our economy by reducing the number of costly regulations that increase the cost of business in the United States.
After passage Rep. Sullivan released the following statement:
“This is a huge win for the American people and an essential step to protect American jobs – jobs that we are in danger of losing due to the Obama Administration’s environmental regulatory agenda.  The fact is EPA has no idea how these regulations are impacting  global competitiveness, energy and fuel prices, jobs or reliability of the electricity supply – eight of the EPA regulations addressed in this bill will cost a minimum of $1 billion each on the U.S. economy.  I firmly believe the American people deserve an honest accounting of how much the Obama Administration’s energy and environmental regulations are costing our economy and that is exactly what the TRAIN Act provides.
“One of the actions in my bill that we study is the regional haze issue which greatly impacts my state of Oklahoma as this is yet another example of EPA overreaching on the states with burdensome regulations without analyzing its impact on electric reliability or cost. This EPA action alone is expected to cost $2 billion to Oklahoma businesses and electric ratepayers – this is unacceptable.”
“The TRAIN Act is just common sense, good government for American workers and businesses.  It’s pretty astonishing that EPA isn’t doing this already.  In these tough economic times, if there is one thing that can help our struggling economy it is having access to stable and reliable sources of energy. My bill will help provide for that and protect jobs at the same time.”
Thank you John Sullivan!

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