Letter Supporting S.J. Res. 26, the Bipartisan Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports S.J. Res. 26, crucial, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Sens. Murkowski and Lincoln, which would prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with its scheme to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, because of the enormous permitting and compliance costs EPA regulation would force upon businesses large and small.
There is significant consensus that the Clean Air Act is an imprecise, impractical, and unworkable process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, EPA’s “endangerment finding” triggered a burgeoning regulatory onslaught of costly, burdensome regulatory programs, such as:
- Mandatory New Source Performance Standards, set by sector;
- New Source Review and Prevention of Significant Deterioration permits for new or modified major sources;
- Title V operating permits for an escalating number of emitters; and,
- National Ambient Air Quality Standards, a program so incompatible with greenhouse gases that EPA has concluded it would be virtually impossible to implement.
The endangerment finding expands the regulatory universe under the Clean Air Act from a few thousand businesses to almost six million. Many of these newly-regulated entities would have their costs of doing business escalate due to rigid new rules and requirements, and projects stalled or stopped while they apply and wait for complicated new permits that require strict and expensive control technologies. Entities affected are not just power plants and refineries, but also potentially office buildings, small businesses, private schools, nursing homes, churches, and other small emitters.
The Congressional Review Act provides Congress with needed checks and balances to undo unwise and unwarranted Administration regulatory actions. Simply put, S.J Res. 26 is the only effective way to stop the consequences of the endangerment finding.
Other purported endangerment “fixes” are illusory, impractical, and potentially illegal. EPA may attempt to promulgate a rule ostensibly intended to address ancillary impacts of the endangerment finding; such a regulation would likely be invalidated by the courts. Bills that have been or may be introduced in the House or Senate to amend the Clean Air Act may be well intentioned; they will not and cannot mitigate, block, deflect or undo EPA’s oncoming regulatory onslaught as effectively as S.J. Res. 26.
Support for S.J. Res. 26 should not be misrepresented as a vote against greenhouse gas emissions legislation. The Chamber supports efforts to address energy security and climate change, and believes that any legislation must be comprehensive and bipartisan, and take into account a wide spectrum of issues including American jobs and our economy.
The Chamber urges you to approve S.J. Res. 26, the bipartisan Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval. The Chamber will consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten