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Mr. President, I rise today to talk about a bill I have introduced. It is called the Clean Air Protection Act.
Mr. President, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson has stated that she believes that the Clean Air Act ‘was not specifically designed to address greenhouse gasses.’She also says using the Clean Air Act to regulate climate change raises ‘serious concerns.’
I agree completely. So what was EPA’s response to the problem?
They developed a “tailored” interpretation of the Clean Air Act where they ignore certain provisions of the law. This tailored interpretation is actually called the tailoring rule. The tailoring rule is EPA’s attempt to limit the scope of the Clean Air Act.
Limit it to only those businesses that emit 25,000 tons of the greenhouse gasses. That’s 100 times more than the amount of emissions allowed by law. Saying that the EPA will only limit emissions from large businesses is not allowed the current law, the Clean Air Act.
If you are going to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from American businesses, you have to use the standard Congress set out in the Act. The EPA’s approach is not legal, and I can tell you it will be challenged in court.
I alerted EPA Administrator Jackson, and EPA Assistant Administrator Regina McCarthy that special interest groups are scheming to sue the EPA. Suits would be filed if the EPA does not follow the Clean Air Act limits. Sue them to capture hospitals, farms, nursing homes, commercial buildings and any other small emitter of greenhouse gasses.
I placed a hold on Regina McCarthy. She was then nominee to be Assistant Administrator of the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. I did this because of my concerns about lawsuits if the EPA attempted to use the Clean Air Act to regulate climate change.
I wanted to know what EPA’s solution to this problem would be. When asked about potential lawsuits, Regina McCarthy said that she will “request that I be informed if any such notice is filed with regard to a small source, and I will follow-up with the potential litigants.”
That’s the EPA’s solution--to sit down over a cup of coffee and ask lawyers for special interest groups not to sue? Litigious groups know the law and what it says. Now the EPA Administrator is opening the door to environmentalists and other activists to sue. To sue to run small businesses into the ground.
Up to 1.2 million hospitals, farms, nursing homes, commercial buildings and other small emitters could be bankrupted. The net result of all of this will be jobs lost. According to the Heritage Foundation, job losses are estimated to reach 800,000.
The solution to this problem is not to have government officials go around asking litigants to not sue. The solution is to pass legislation that takes this regulatory ticking time bomb off the table for good. That is why I introduced legislation to fix this problem.
The bill, S. 1622 – the Clean Air Protection Act, takes the Clean Air Act out of the business of regulating climate change.
My legislation allows car and truck regulations under the Clean Air Act to move forward, while stopping the regulation of stationary sources such as small businesses, hospitals, farms and nursing homes.
Given the introduction of the tailoring rule by the EPA, Congress should pass S. 1622, the Clean Air Protection Act, without delay. Pass it before the regulatory ticking time bomb goes off.