Tuesday, June 19, 2012

White House Recommends Veto For S.J. Res. 37 & H.R. 4480

Jun 19: The White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued two Statements of Administration Policy on recent House and Senate measures to role back EPA air regulations, oil and gas leasing reforms and regulate the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The Policy Statements indicate that White House senior advisors would recommend that the President veto S.J. Res. 37 that would overturn EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS, or Utility MACT) and H.R.4480, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act.
    Regarding S.J. Res. 37, sponsored by Senator Inhofe (R-OK), a June 18, statement indicates the measure would, "overturn long-overdue national clean air standards limiting power plant emissions of toxic air pollution, including mercury. As a result, this resolution would cause substantial harm to public health and undermine our Nation's longstanding commitment to clean up pollution from power plants. . . S.J. Res. 37 would undermine more than forty years of CAA progress by blocking the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, the first national standards to protect American families from harmful power plant emissions of mercury and other toxic air pollution like arsenic, acid gases, nickel, and chromium. . ."
    The Statement indicates that, "The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will ensure that the Nation's power plants install modern, widely available technologies to limit harmful pollution -- leveling the playing field for power plants that already have such controls in place. The standards are achievable; pollution control equipment that can help meet them already is installed at more than half of the Nation's coal-fired power plants. Numerous studies, including analysis by the Department of Energy, have projected that the standards can be met without adversely affecting the adequacy of electric generation resources in any region of the country."
    Additionally, the Statement notes that, "if a rule is disapproved under the Congressional Review Act, an agency may not issue a rule that is 'substantially the same.' In this case, because EPA has adhered closely to its narrowly circumscribed authority under the CAA in promulgating these standards, the enactment of S.J. Res. 37 could effectively prevent EPA from ever limiting mercury and air toxics pollution from power plants."
    Regarding H.R.4480, sponsored by Representative Gardner (R-CO) and 21 cosponsors, a June 19 statement indicates the bill would, ". . .undermine the Nation's energy security, roll back policies that support the continued growth of safe and responsible energy production in the United States, discourage environmental analysis and civic engagement in Federal decision-making, and impede progress on important Clean Air Act (CAA) rules to protect the health of American families. H.R. 4480 would threaten energy security and broader national security by attaching conditions to the drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) that could hinder the President's ability to respond appropriately and lawfully to a disruption in the Nation's energy supply. . .
    "H.R. 4480 also would reverse Administration oil and gas leasing reforms that have established orderly, open, efficient, and environmentally sound processes for energy development on public lands. Specifically, this bill would favor an arbitrary standard for leasing in open areas over leasing on the basis of greatest resource potential. . . H.R. 4480 also would impede progress on important protections for the health of American families. The bill would undermine the longstanding principle of the CAA that air quality standards must be set at levels requisite to protect public health, based first and foremost on sound science. The bill also would impose an unnecessary and redundant requirement for analysis of certain regulations, including some that have never been proposed. . ."
    Access the Policy Statement for S.J. Res. 37 (click here). Access the Policy Statement for H.R.4480 (click here). Access legislative details for S.J. Res. 37 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4480 (click here). [#Air, #Energy]
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