Ag Policy Blog
Todd Neeley DTN Staff Reporter

Friday 01/11/13

US Chamber of Commerce to go After EPA in Court

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Donohue indicated that the chamber is set to take on EPA in court when it comes to regulations that he said are hurting the U.S. economy, in state of American business remarks he delivered Thursday during a U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation event in Washington, D.C.

Donohue said existing EPA rules and those yet to come will be costly to the economy.

Below are excerpts of his speech where he talks about environmental regulations and the chamber's plans:

"On the environmental front, major EPA rules imposed over the last decade cost more than $23 billion and its new ozone regulation could cost up to $90 billion. If EPA moves forward with rules on greenhouse gas emissions and applies them beyond power plants and refineries, it could ensnare roughly six million facilities in burdensome permitting requirements.

"The regulatory flood is particularly pronounced in the health care arena. The new rules and mandates in the health care law -- not to mention the extraordinary confusion businesses are facing as they try to comply -- could drive costs through the roof and cause many Americans to lose the health coverage they are accustomed to.

"All told, the federal government issues about 4,000 regulations every year. It would be hard to convince any reasonable person that all of that is really necessary.

"We need to do three essential things in response to this regulatory flood.

"First, we need to streamline the permitting process. It takes too long to build things in this country and a big reason is the months and even years it can take to get the necessary permits.

"Second, we need to modernize our regulatory system to bring more accountability to the regulators and to restore the role of Congress in the rulemaking process. The bipartisan Regulatory Accountability Act, which passed the House last year, would accomplish these tasks and help ensure that rules are based on good data and sound science.

"Third, you are going to see us significantly expand the expertise in our law firm, the National Chamber Litigation Center and in other areas of our institution, in order to deal with regulations.

"Our preference is always to work within the legislative and regulatory processes and we do that on a daily basis. But when rights have been trampled on, or regulators have overstepped their bounds, we'll take the necessary legal action."

In the past two years the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives has made the point in public hearings that environmental regulations are one reason for economic struggles. The House has generated a number of bills aimed at lessening EPA's power, and has pressed the agency to provide data on the economic effects of regulations.

View Donohue's full remarks here, http://tinyurl.com/….

Follow me on Twitter @epareporter

Posted at 12:01PM CST 01/11/13 by Todd Neeley
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