U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) supports the passage of bi-partisan legislation to put the brakes on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) job-killing regulatory agenda. The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act, H.R. 2401, requires federal officials to closely examine and consider the cumulative impacts of EPA rules on jobs, energy prices, electric reliability and America’s overall global economic competitiveness.
“From day one, this Administration has taken dead aim at the coal industry which is part of the lifeblood of Southern and Eastern Kentucky. The President doesn’t want us to mine coal, he doesn’t want us to burn coal, and he doesn’t have a legitimate low-cost energy alternative to grow Kentucky businesses and help working families,” stated Rogers, a co-sponsor of H.R. 2401. “Americans across the country attribute EPA's burdensome regulations with disastrous effects on our nation’s economic recovery. The TRAIN Act will bring to light the true costs to our economy and our energy security, and help our job-creators emerge from this paralyzing web of regulatory red-tape. We’ve got to put our people back to work.”
Since 2009, EPA has unveiled major revisions to regulations under the Clean Air Act, tightening nearly every environmental rule on its books. Because of their economic significance and complexity, several of these regulations have been collectively dubbed “The Train Wreck.” Recent studies indicate that just four of these rules – Utility MACT, Cross-State Air Pollution (Transport), Coal Ash and Cooling Water Intake Structure – together could cost the U.S. economy $21 billion and 183,000 jobs annually until 2020. In addition, utility rates are expected to increase by as much as 19 percent in some areas of the country if these changes are implemented. One utility company with service in Kentucky has indicated that compliance with EPA regulations would force the early retirement of five coal-fired power plants and the net loss of 600 jobs with annual wages totaling approximately $40 million.
The TRAIN Act would establish an interagency council to focus on the cumulative impacts of these regulations at a time when job growth remains flat and energy prices are on the rise. In addition, the legislation would delay the final date for the Utility MACT and Transport rules, which limit power plant emissions. Taken together, without changes, these two rules are expected to result in a net loss of 1.44 million jobs by 2020. H.R. 2401 was passed by the House of Representatives on a bi-partisan basis (249-169), and now awaits consideration by the U.S. Senate.
Through his role as Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers has continued to challenge EPA on the merits of its regulatory agenda. The FY 2012 Interior-Environment Appropriations Bill reported by his Committee sends a strong message that the EPA’s “legislation by regulation” and commandeering of congressional authority is opposed by a strong bi-partisan contingent of lawmakers. The bill restricts funding for EPA personnel in order to return the Agency to a better working order and facilitate a more effective government, and takes explicit action to address EPA’s wrong-headed greenhouse gas regulations, its hault on mining permits in Appalachia, its attack on the cement and utility industries through unsolicited revisions to the Clean Air Act, and its obstruction of oil and gas permitting in the Outer Continental Shelf.