This letter supporting S. 280, the “Federal Permitting Improvement Act of 2015,” was sent to all Members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
The Chamber strongly supports continued environmental improvements, including sensible approaches to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We believe that economic growth and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive goals. In fact, the United States is the only major country that has actually and substantially reduced its C02 emissions while continuing to grow our economy. To make further progress, we should be guided by what has already worked: gains in efficiency, new technologies, and the increased use of natural gas and renewable fuels.
A technology-based approach to environmental progress that focuses on becoming more energy efficient and lowering the cost of alternatives plays to America's strengths in innovation. Conversely, a heavy-handed regulatory approach that smothers the U.S. economy in massive costs, puts people out of work, and hands an economic advantage to U.S. competitors is not an effective or viable environmental strategy.
The Chamber supports commonsense policies that balance environmental improvement with economic growth. We:
- Support efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through a comprehensive legislative solution that does not harm the economy, recognizes that the problem is international in scope, and aggressively promotes new technologies and efficiency.
- Champion efforts by industry to develop energy-efficient and low-emissions technologies and export them to the developing world, where the bulk of new greenhouse gas emissions are expected to occur.
- Oppose EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gases under the existing Clean Air Act.
- Urge Congress and the executive branch to use the full $80 billion available to the Energy Savings Performance Contracts program, an energy-efficient retrofit program for federal buildings that requires virtually no up-front taxpayer cost but that has been drastically underutilized.
- Wish to revitalize the Endangered Species Act to improve success in recovering species, and promote cooperative partnerships between the federal government and landowners to reduce the law's burden on local economies.
- Want to modernize energy and infrastructure project permitting by coordinating the review process among stakeholders and establishing a timeframe for decision making.
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The National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone is an outdoor air regulation established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act. Ozone is a naturally occurring gas composed of oxygen molecules. Ground-level ozone occurs both naturally and forms due to chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, which are emitted from industrial facilities, power plants, vehicle exhaust, and chemical solvents.
Lowering the ozone standard will cost $140 billion in lost economic output and 1.4 million jobs annually.
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations, and dedicated to promoting, protecting, and defending America’s free enterprise system, supports H.R. 1029, the “EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015,” and H.R. 1030, the “Secret Science Reform Act of 2015.”
Via Electronic Mail
TO: Ms. Janet McCabe
Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Mail Code 6101A
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
RE: Request for Notice and an Extension of the Comment Period on the “Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Proposed Revisions to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ground-Level Ozone” (Nov. 2014)
Last Friday, EPA engaged in the time-honored, Washington tradition of a Friday document dump before a long holiday weekend.
What is Sue and Settle?
Four companies considering the region for investment indicated that the new standards prompted them to look elsewhere.
EPA ignores pollution floating to the United States from places like China and Mexico.
FOR: STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD ON THE U.S.
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S PROPOSAL
ON THE OZONE NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR QUALITY
TO: U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
BY: MARY K. MARTIN,
ENERGY, CLEAN AIR & NATURAL RESOURCES POLICY
DATE: JANUARY 29, 2015