Rep. Cassidy to Newsmax: Make EPA More Accountable For New Regulation Costs

Monday, 15 Apr 2013 02:42 PM

By Bill Hoffmann and John Bachman

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Louisiana Rep. Bill Cassidy — a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee — says a bill he has proposed will make the Environmental Protection Agency more transparent in pushing new regulations and will help curb burgeoning costs.

Cassidy told Newsmax TV that even just one regulation, such as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule — requiring states to improve air quality by reducing power plant emissions that pollute the ozone in other states — can have a huge price tag.

“The cost I believe was $90 billion [and] that’s just one rule,’’ said the Republican congressman — who represents the Pelican State’s Sixth District and recently announced he is running for the U.S Senate.

“If you increase the cost a utility must charge for its electricity, and you’re in energy-intensive manufacturing … you either have to either lay off workers or move your plant overseas to stay competitive.

“So it’s a direct cost of compliance but also we have to be concerned with the indirect cost of that ripple effect of the regulation, if you will.’’

He said he has seen major effects of new EPA regulations in his own state over the past four years.

“In Baton Rouge, one of the major petro-chemical plants planning an expansion … was hung up in a regional office of the EPA and because of that they were unable to create construction jobs and create the permanent manufacturing jobs,’’ Cassidy said.

“When they finally worked through the bureaucratic process, they got approval. But it actually took direct intervention by a member of Congress … So these are the sorts of rules that are costing blue collar, working class people good jobs both in construction and in manufacturing.’’

Cassidy said his bill will require the EPA to act with “transparency.’’

“[If] it’s going to cost over $1 billion, and that’s an EPA assessment, then it must be also reviewed by the Department of Energy, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Commerce,’’ he said.

“What it avoids is for one agency to have dictatorial power … It just has to be vetted by other agencies’ peers, if you will, to make sure it is a good rule.’’

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