Western Caucus Members Applaud EPA Proposal to Bring Transparency to Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process

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Washington, June 4, 2020 | Doug Levine (202-225-2315) | comments

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposal for public comment concerning processes EPA should undertake when promulgating regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to ensure that information regarding the benefits and costs of regulatory decisions are developed and provided in a consistent and transparent manner.  

“I applaud this important step taken by the EPA to bring greater accountability and transparency to the federal rulemaking process. My constituents deserve to know what the actual cost of new federal rules are, as well as the benefits. Knowing the full picture of federal rulemaking will allow all Americans to understand the balance of the impact of new regulations. This new rule is yet another example of this administration living up to it’s word to be transparent with the American people and bringing greater accountability to government,” said Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul Gosar (AZ-04).

“This decision will empower local stakeholders to be a part of the regulatory process, ensuring that all future regulations consider a benefit-cost analysis that focuses on real-life data. This commonsense approach will ultimately protect economic prosperity and critical jobs across the state of Wyoming.  I commend the EPA for revising the Obama era policies that were weaponized by far-left bureaucrats with little to no input from Wyoming’s ranchers and energy producers," said House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (WY-AL).  

“Balancing necessary environmental safeguards and promoting responsible development of critical infrastructure necessary for economic growth are not mutually exclusive. The costs of federal regulations should be well understood by the public before rules are implemented. EPA is taking appropriate action to ensure all parties impacted by federal rules have an opportunity to weigh the full costs and benefits of those rules. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration on legislative fixes to create similar approaches to restoring federal regulatory clarity across the board and ensuring taxpayers know full well the cost of regulating critical industries in their communities,” said Executive Vice Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03). 

"By modernizing and streamlining the cost-benefit procedures under the Clean Water Act, President Trump's Administration and the EPA are demonstrating a commitment to dual federal responsibilities: protecting the environment and ensuring federal spending is conducted responsibly. I applaud Administrator Wheeler for working to keep our air clean for citizens across the country while ensuring the responsible, efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Vice Chairman for Departments of Interior and Energy Dan Newhouse (WA-04). 

“Every government agency could benefit from more consistency and transparency, so I’m pleased to see the EPA taking this step toward streamlining benefit-costs analyses. This will better equip state and local officials to implement Clean Air Act regulations,” said Vice Chairman for Infrastructure and Forestry Bruce Westerman (AR-04). 

"I welcome the proposed rule change announced today by the EPA. For too long, the cost of federal regulatory action under the Clean Air Act has been inconsistent and in need of reform. Creating a clear, streamlined process for calculating regulatory costs is an essential step toward stopping egregious federal overreach before it even begins. I want to thank President Trump and EPA Administrator Wheeler for continuing to protect our environment, while cutting excessive and unnecessary red tape,” said Vice Chairman for Indian Affairs and Fisheries Don Young (AK-AL). 

“I applaud Administrator Wheeler’s effort to improve EPA’s rulemaking process by establishing common-sense requirements to ensure a consistent and transparent application of cost-benefit analysis under the Clean Air Act. During the Obama Administration, the massive economic costs of their burdensome regulations were often ignored in an attempt to regulate fossil fuel use out of existence. Regulators shouldn’t be allowed to work backwards, deciding what policy they want and then gaming or ignoring cost-benefit analysis to reach their preferred policy outcomes. Ensuring that the best available economic and scientific data is utilized during the rulemaking process is critical to property evaluating the impacts of policy choices,” said Vice Chairman for Defense and Veterans Affairs Doug Lamborn (CO-05).

“Arizona is one of the most impacted states from costly Clean Air Act regulations. Today’s announcement will ensure a transparent and consistent cost benefit analysis on regulations that hurt many of my constituents. I applaud President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for continuing to implement a strong regulatory reform agenda at the EPA,” said Vice Chairman for Regulatory Reform Andy Biggs (AZ-05).

“The Trump Administration has improved the regulatory process across all agencies. Americans expect their government to be as transparent as possible, and this rule change to the Clean Air Act will help. By making the costs and benefits of Clean Air Act regulations public, taxpayers can more easily advise and hold the bureaucracy accountable. Thanks to the EPA for administering regulations more fairly by making this change and to the Trump Administration for their continued aggressive regulatory reforms,” said Vice Chairman for Agriculture and Chief Business Officer Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). 

“I want to applaud EPA for their proposed rulemaking which will require coherent and high-quality analysis of the benefits and costs associated with setting regulations under the Clean Air Act. This is smart policy that will benefit the constituents in my district and across the United States. I know that Administrator Wheeler is working hard to deliver on President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, and this proposed rulemaking is just another example of that,” said Congressman James Comer (KY-01). 

“Streamlining the regulatory process for the Clean Air Act is both welcome and long overdue. We must work to achieve a balance that improves air quality and is balanced with practical economic considerations. This new proposed rule by the EPA does exactly that, with an approach to cost-benefit analysis based on science, data and transparency," said Congressman Pete Olson (TX-22)

“I appreciate the EPA’s proposed rule to increase transparency and accountability. Environmental regulations must take into consideration the cost of compliance and the impact on consumers. For too long, the process of creating regulations has been opaque and inconsistent. By weighing the costs and benefits of regulations under the Clean Air Act in a consistent manner, the EPA will no longer pick winners and losers and ensure the constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law is upheld,” said Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26)

“Today’s EPA announcement is another example of how the Agency and the Trump Administration continue to make a more objective and transparent regulatory process for American taxpayers. This proposed rule comes in response to EPA’s previously inconsistent, and sometimes controversial, application of cost-benefit practices across its programs. The proposal will work to increase reliability, accuracy, and usefulness of future cost-benefit analyses of regulations– while ensuring we maintain environmental protections under the Clean Air Act,” said Congressman Greg Walden (OR-02).

“For too long the rulemaking process involved different, inconsistent analyses of benefits and costs. I’m glad the EPA is committing to using the best available science to implement consistent, transparent benefit-cost analyses of future regulations. Today’s proposal strengthens, clarifies, and improves our rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act,” said Congressman Frank D. Lucas (OK-03). 

“I am pleased to hear the EPA is taking action to require a cost-benefit analysis of regulations. Overregulation harms our economy and destroys jobs,” said Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-02).

Background 

Many EPA statutes, including the Clean Air Act, provide language on the consideration of benefits and costs, but there are no regulations that ensure that the public is provided an analysis of the benefits and costs in a consistent manner across offices. 

The Western Caucus has consistently been a vocal supporter of proposals from this administration that have brought greater transparency to federal rulemaking processes, such as this new proposal published today. 

Background Courtesy of the EPA: 

In 2018, EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to solicit public input on whether and how to change the way it considers benefits and costs in making regulatory decisions.  

In response to comment received, in May 2019, Administrator Wheeler sent a memo directing agency leadership to develop rules for notice and comment that outline how benefit-cost considerations will be applied to future rulemakings in a more consistent and transparent manner. 

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/air-and-radiation/proposed-rule-increasing-consistency-considering-benefits-and-costs-clean-air-act

More information from EPA can be seen HERE

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