Rep. Gosar Leads Charge to Defund EPA’s Job-Killing Regulations and Lawlessness

Apr 7, 2016 Issues: Government Oversight and Regulatory Reform, Energy, Public Lands and Water, Spending Cuts and Debt

For Immediate Release

Date: April 7, 2016

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after submitting five appropriations riders to the House Appropriations Committee aimed at defunding job-killing and unconstitutional regulations put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“As the branch of government with the power of the purse, it our responsibility to stop unconstitutional and misguided regulations forced upon the American people by a politicized EPA. Throughout President Obama’s disastrous occupation of the White House, he has repeatedly used the EPA as a weapon to enact his radical ideology and circumvent the legislative process. All Americans, of all political beliefs, should be ashamed of this abuse of power which has left a scar on the executive branch and will have devastating repercussions for our nation’s future prosperity. In order to return the balance of power in favor of the American people, the House must take bold action and rein in this rogue agency before further harm is inflicted on our economy. These five commonsense appropriations riders accomplish that objective.”

Background:

The full text of Congressman’s appropriation’s language requests can be read by clicking on the titles below:

No Funds for the EPA's New Race Car Regulation
On July 13, 2015 the EPA proposed a new rule that would make it illegal to make any modifications to an EPA-certified vehicle that would bring that vehicle out of compliance with the Clean Air Act. This provision specifically states that even vehicles used exclusively for competition are barred from making these types of modifications. This rule change directly violates the intent of the Clean Air Act, which was meant to specifically exclude vehicles that would be used exclusively for competition. In addition to having questionable environmental benefits, this rule would be harmful to our economy. 

Even worse than this disastrous rule is the incredibly secretive and underhanded way in which the EPA introduced it.  The original rule proposal was placed on page 40539 of the Federal Register under a section titled: “Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and heavy-Duty Engines and Vehicles—Phase 2.”  This obfuscation is a blatant violation of the Administrative Procedures Act that requires sufficient notification of and opportunity for input from the regulated industry. The regulated industry was not even aware that this rule had been proposed until after the comment period had been closed by the EPA. This rule threatens the viability of the specialty equipment automotive aftermarket. Seven other members joined Congressman Gosar in submitting this bipartisan rider which he spearheaded.

No Funds for the EPA to Shell Out Millions to PR firms
The watchdog group Open the Books reported that the federal government has spent more than $4 billion on public relations since 2007, with over $2 billion going to private firms. Shockingly, several of these private PR firms charged federal agencies $40-$88 an hour for the work of an intern. The EPA continues to waste millions of dollars each year on advertising and public relations, much of which is paid to private firms. In fact, from 2000-2014, the EPA spent a total of $170 million dollars on PR, $26 million of which went to private consultants. This spending on private PR by an agency who conducted a potentially unconstitutional lobbying campaign in promulgating its Waters of the United States Rule is egregious, especially since the EPA has at times employed nearly 200 public affairs employees.

Government transparency is important to the health of our Republic, but exorbitant spending on advertising, polls, and private firms does not reflect the priorities of a government that is more than $19 trillion dollars in debt. Instead of hiring more people to advertise and spin what the government is doing, we should be more discerning stewards of the taxpayer dime. Six other members joined Congressman Gosar in submitting this bipartisan rider which he spearheaded.

No Funds for the EPA to Hire Employees in other Countries in Relation to the Paris Talks
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has announced that in addition to instituting the most expensive federal regulation in United States History in the form of the Clean Power Plan, the Agency will volunteer its environmental policing powers abroad to assist other countries in implementing the opaque emissions targets of the Paris Agreement. Such a notion is problematic in several ways. Not the least of which is the questionable legality of sending government employees abroad to enforce an agreement that Congress never even approved. The international, multilateral agreement meets the criteria of a treaty as set forth by both policy and precedence of the State Department and the U.S. Senate. However, the Obama Administration makes clear that they have no intention of ever submitting the treaty to the Senate for ratification. Unconstitutional treaties shouldn’t receive funding, especially to squander taxpayer money abroad on other country’s climate change programs.

No Funds for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan
President Obama unveiled final rules to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing power plants in August of 2015. The rule calls for a 32% cut nationwide in CO2 emissions by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. This will place incredible burdens on states to comply, force electricity rates to rise, and endanger grid reliability. These new coal mandates will eventually cause every coal plant in Arizona to shut its doors if this disastrous proposal is allowed to move forward. American families are projected to lose almost $600 billion in disposable income as a result of EPA’s new proposed regulation. An economic analysis also found that this overreaching Washington mandate will kill 226,000 jobs annually and cost our economy $50 billion each year. All of this economic harm and destruction for our economies will only result in a 1.8% reduction of global carbon-dioxide emissions by the year 2030.

Due to this unprecedented power grab, the U.S. Congress spoke with one voice and rejected the final rules using the Congressional Review Act. The Senate voted on November 17, 2015 to reject the CPP and the House quickly followed suit on December 1, 2015. Even though a majority of both Houses of Congress rejected these onerous rules, President Obama still decided to veto the bills. On Tuesday, February 9, the Supreme Court issued a stay on the rule, temporarily blocking implementation of these new regulations. Given the uncertainty of any litigation, Congress must use the power of the purse to defund these job-crushing mandates.  

Protecting States from the Flawed Ozone Regulation
The EPA first established a national ambient air quality standard for ground-level ozone in 1971, and has revised the standard numerous times since then. While the EPA delayed and did not publish implementing regulations for the 2008 standards until February 2015 (nearly 7 years after promulgation of the 2008 standards), the agency has recently revised those standards, publishing a rule on October 26, 2015 lowering the primary and secondary standards from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 70 (ppb). Counties designated to be in nonattainment with the new standards become subject to new emissions control requirements, transportation conformity requirements, and more stringent permitting requirements on growth, affecting new manufacturing, construction and Federal highway funding. 

The EPA has reported that 358 counties throughout the country will be immediately noncompliant under the new rule, and Senator Inhofe has reported that an additional 1,500 counties likely will not meet this new mandate. Nearly 700 stakeholders throughout the country have called on Congress to stop the overreaching new ozone rule that many believe is “the most expensive regulation in history.” Congressman Gosar has also introduced a bill, H.J.RES.74, to block the EPA’s new ozone regulation through the Congressional Review Act. Click HERE to read more. 

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