U.S. Chamber, Energy Trade Groups Urge Spending Panels to Block EPA Climate Rules

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by
The Hill

U.S. Chamber, Energy Trade Groups Urge Spending Panels to Block EPA Climate Rules

by
Ben Geman

A Danish policeman stands next to an art installation located near the exit of the Bella Center in Copenhagen December 6, 2009. A group of powerful industry trade associations is urging House and Senate appropriators to delay looming EPA climate change rules that the groups contend will harm the economy and block job creation. (REUTERS/Bob Strong/Files)

A group of powerful industry trade associations is urging House and Senate appropriators to delay looming EPA climate change rules that the groups contend will harm the economy and block job creation.

Joint letters Tuesday from two-dozen groups - including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute, National Mining Association and National Association of Manufacturers - argue that "the appropriations process can ensure that the potentially damaging impacts of EPA's rules are postponed for a two or three year period pending Congressional action."

The groups oppose rules slated to take effect beginning early next year to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other large stationary sources, and the letters express concern that burdensome regulations could eventually apply to a large swath of the economy.

"There is the very real prospect that investments by businesses across the entire economy - the investments that will drive economic recovery and job creation - will be delayed, curtailed or, even worse, cancelled," states the letters to the spending panels obtained by The Hill.

The letters come ahead of the Senate Appropriations Committee markup of EPA's annual spending bill Thursday. Republicans may offer amendments to delay EPA rules, which could draw suppost from some centrist Democrats.

Also, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) is seeking a Senate vote this year on his bill that would impose a two-year delay on EPA rules for stationary sources, while Re. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) has floated a companion plan in the House, which is co-sponsored by Re. Rick Boucher (D-Va.).

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he intends to bring up Rockefeller's bill this year.

"We urge you to support efforts to postpone EPA regulation of GHG emissions from all stationary sources through targeted amendments to relevant appropriations measures or legislation based on the Rahall/Boucher or Rockefeller bills," states the letter, which is also backed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Chemistry Council and other groups.

The House Appropriations subcommittee that writes EPA spending bills deadlocked 7-7 in July on an amendment to delay EPA rules for two years, which meant that the delay was not adopted by the panel.

The full House Appropriations Committee has not yet taken up EPA's annual spending bill.

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