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What They Are Saying: EPA Proposes Honest Accounting Standard to Improve Future Clean Air Act Rules

06/04/2020
Contact Information: 
EPA Press Office (press@epa.gov)

WASHINGTON (June 4, 2020) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposal to improve the rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act by establishing requirements to ensure consistent, high-quality analyses of benefits and costs are provided to the public for significant rules. This proposal, when finalized, will codify best practices for benefit-cost analysis in rulemaking, and provide clarity for states, local communities and industry regarding EPA’s rulemaking considerations. Here's what stakeholders and elected officials are saying:

Senate

Chairman John Barrasso (WY), Committee on Environment and Public Works: “Now more than ever, we need to make sure regulations do not impose unnecessary costs and weigh down our economy. For too long, punishing regulations under the Clean Air Act have burdened states and businesses with unjustified costs. These regulations are consistently more expensive than any others issued by EPA. Washington should not issue regulations for regulation’s sake. I applaud the Trump Administration for asking for public input on how we can improve the process moving forward.”

Senator James Lankford (OK): “I applaud the EPA for moving forward with regulatory reforms so Americans can participate in the regulatory process and have complete information about the benefits and costs of proposed actions, but I will continue to push for legislative action. During my time in Congress, I have prioritized consistent regulatory analysis and transparency in the rulemaking process across all agencies, including introducing several bills on regulatory reform including the public disclosure of scientific studies used in rulemakings.”

Senator John Hoeven (ND): “Federal regulations often impose significant compliance costs, in terms of time and money, which is why we’ve worked to streamline federal rules and provide relief from unnecessary and burdensome regulations,” said Senator Hoeven. “It makes sense to ensure that the benefits of the administration’s actions outweigh the costs, and to do so in a consistent and transparent manner. We welcome the EPA’s effort to do just that, and we encourage North Dakotans from across sectors, including agriculture, energy and construction, to give their input on this proposal.”

House

Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (OR-02), Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (MI-06), and Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader John Shimkus (IL-15): “Today’s EPA announcement is another example of how the Agency and the Trump Administration continue to make a more objective and transparent regulatory process for American taxpayers. This proposed rule comes in response to EPA’s previously inconsistent, and sometimes controversial, application of cost-benefit practices across its programs. The proposal will work to increase reliability, accuracy, and usefulness of future cost-benefit analyses of regulations– while ensuring we maintain environmental protections under the Clean Air Act.”

Congressman Frank D. Lucas (OK-03), Ranking Member of House Science, Space, and Technology Committee: “For too long the rulemaking process involved different, inconsistent analyses of benefits and costs. I’m glad the EPA is committing to using the best available science to implement consistent, transparent benefit-cost analyses of future regulations. Today’s proposal strengthens, clarifies, and improves our rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act.”

Oversight and Government Reform Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Congressman James Comer (KY-01): “I want to applaud EPA for their proposed rulemaking which will require coherent and high-quality analysis of the benefits and costs associated with setting regulations under the Clean Air Act. This is smart policy that will benefit the constituents in my district and across the United States. I know that Administrator Wheeler is working hard to deliver on President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, and this proposed rulemaking is just another example of that.”

Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04): “I applaud this important step taken by the EPA to bring greater accountability and transparency to the federal rulemaking process. My constituents deserve to know what the actual cost of new federal rules are, as well as the benefits. Knowing the full picture of federal rulemaking will allow all American to understand the balance of the impact of new regulations. This new rule is yet another example of this administration living up to its word to be transparent with the American people and bringing greater accountability to government.”

Congressman Dan Newhouse (WA-04): “By modernizing and streamlining the cost-benefit procedures under the Clean Water Act, President Trump's Administration and the EPA are demonstrating a commitment to dual federal responsibilities: protecting the environment and ensuring federal spending is conducted responsibly. I applaud Administrator Wheeler for working to keep our air clean for citizens across the country while ensuring the responsible, efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”

Congressman Alex Mooney (WV-02): “I am pleased to hear the EPA is taking action to require a cost-benefit analysis of regulations. Overregulation harms our economy and destroys jobs.” 

Congressman Scott Tipton (CO-03): “Balancing necessary environmental safeguards and promoting responsible development of critical infrastructure necessary for economic growth are not mutually exclusive. The costs of federal regulations should be well understood by the public before rules are implemented. EPA is taking appropriate action to ensure all parties impacted by federal rules have an opportunity to weigh the full costs and benefits of those rules. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and the Administration on legislative fixes to create similar approaches to restoring federal regulatory clarity across the board and ensuring taxpayers know full well the cost of regulating critical industries in their communities.”

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA-01): “The Trump Administration has improved the regulatory process across all agencies. Americans expect their government to be as transparent as possible, and this rule change to the Clean Air Act will help. By making the costs and benefits of Clean Air Act regulations public, taxpayers can more easily advise and hold the bureaucracy accountable. Thanks to the EPA for administering regulations more fairly by making this change and to the Trump Administration for their continued aggressive regulatory reforms.”

Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05): “Arizona is one of the most impacted states from costly Clean Air Act regulations. Today’s announcement will ensure a transparent and consistent cost benefit analysis on regulations that hurt many of my constituents. I applaud President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for continuing to implement a strong regulatory reform agenda at the EPA.”

State Officials

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey: “Arizona has shown that with the right balance, environmental protection and a thriving economy can go hand in hand. Today's announcement by the EPA of the proposed rule requiring benefit-cost analyses for significant Clean Air Act regulations is exactly what is necessary to strike that balance at the federal level, and I applaud Administrator Wheeler's bold action.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson:  "I commend the EPA and Administrator Wheeler for working to bring more transparency to the regulatory process for all stakeholders. A process that is based on sound science and a transparent cost-benefit analysis will result in more certainty for American industry and better regulations that protect our environment."

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch: “Due process for the American people and American businesses should not be confined to the courts. It is just as important in the regulatory process. I am pleased to see the EPA taking these steps to provide greater clarity and consistency under the Clean Air Act. Efforts like this and President Trump’s recent Regulatory Bill of Rights help ensure the people can be good faith partners in necessary regulation.” 

Mesa County, Colorado Commissioner Rose Femia Pugliese: “Throughout my years as a Mesa County, Colorado Commissioner, I have watched as our regional economies have suffered due to the imposition of federal regulations without consideration of the impact of these decisions on businesses and on our communities. I welcome this change as it will provide much needed transparency and data to the current process.”

Andre E. Cushing III, County Commissioner, Penobscot County District 2, Newport, Maine: "I applaud EPA Administrator Wheeler's efforts to finally implement a cost benefit process in potential rule making. While we all aspire to have a better quality environment and air quality tops this list, the effects of some regulations have not provided the evidence of their success any many have come at a cost that has been detrimental. Going forward the proposed method should provide fair and balance review of any new regulations."

Colorado State Senator and Assistant Minority Leader John Cooke (Senate District 13): “My career choice was law enforcement, and I rose to be Sheriff of Weld County.  Over the years I saw huge cost increases due to layers of unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. Your steps will provide greater transparency and save local governments. farms, and small businesses from burdensome delays. It will also provide needed protections for landowners, farmers and ranchers, the people working in the oil and gas industry, as well as those in other sectors, who will now be afforded a full understanding of the costs and benefits of new regulations as they seek to keep Colorado working.”

Colorado State Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (Senate District 1): “America's farmers and ranchers have for years been under the thumb of federal rules and regulations that were put in place without any thought given whatsoever to the impact they would have on the livelihoods of thousands of people. The Waters of the U.S. rule was one of the most egregious examples, but is only one of possibly hundreds. Requiring a cost-benefit analysis be completed before imposing any further regulation is simply good common sense, and will go a long way towards helping the federal government be a partner, rather than an adversary, to American agriculture.”

Colorado State Senator Rob Woodward (Senate District 15): “The EPA and other federal regulations have all to often been imposed without any consideration of the economic costs. In northern Colorado, as elsewhere, this has resulted in costly and unnecessary delays of important public and private projects, including transportation infrastructure. The new rule will ensure that the proper balance is struck between necessary environmental protections and equally necessary economic development.”

Colorado State Representative Matt Soper, (House District 54): “I salute the EPA’s work to bring the US in line with other industrialized nations, while vigorously protecting our environment. As a rural Western Colorado legislator, whose district has a vibrant tourism industry, natural resource industry, and small business community, I salute the move to a cost-benefit analysis approach.”

Stakeholders

Anne Bradbury, CEO, American Exploration and Production Council: “Through Administrator Wheeler’s proposal, EPA must now be consistent and transparent with the data and analysis used to justify decisions in its rulemaking efforts. These reforms help to avoid federal rules that could otherwise hurt American workers, businesses and our economy.”

Marty Durbin, President, U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute: “High quality cost-benefit analyses are foundational to balanced and informed regulatory decision-making. Rulemakings that rely on problematic and non-transparent assumptions contribute to confusing and misleading cost-benefit information. A more open and standardized process not only makes common sense, but will enhance public understanding of the scientific and other inputs that drive EPA’s decisions, improve the integrity of the rulemaking process, and lead to better public policy. We therefore welcome EPA’s effort to address this important issue and we look forward to reviewing the rule in more detail.”

Frank Macchiarola, Senior Vice President of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, American Petroleum Institute: “API supports this proposal to provide consistency and greater transparency in analyzing the benefits and costs of proposed rules. Ensuring the EPA’s rulemaking process uses clear and consistent data showing how the agency developed proposed rules will benefit the public, industry and all stakeholders. The past decade is proof that we can achieve environmental progress and economic growth at the same time. Under improved Clean Air Act provisions, continued innovation and technologies developed by the oil and natural gas industry can build on these achievements.”

Rachel Jones, Vice President, Energy & Resources Policy, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM): “A fair rulemaking process is an inclusive one where all community stakeholders have a seat at the table from day one. The public deserves clear rules that ensure a clean environment, safe workplaces and a better quality of life, and it sounds like the EPA got this one right by ensuring a rulemaking process that is open and collaborative. This will strengthen confidence that EPA is relying on the best available science and ensuring that the rulemaking process is open, collaborative and committed to giving Americans the cleanest air in the world.”  

American Chemistry Council (ACC): “We welcome EPA’s initiative to improve the use of cost-benefit analysis in rulemaking. EPA’s effort will de-mystify and standardize the process so that policymakers and the public understand the impacts of regulatory proposals and are empowered to make good decisions about where to invest resources. It will also support capital investment and R&D that drive economic growth. We look forward to an in-depth review of the proposal in the weeks ahead.

“ACC commends action to address the historical challenges with the consideration of regulatory costs and benefits. As a final rule is being crafted, we urge EPA to carefully consider a range of options, from a cost-benefit ‘test’ to specific process reforms. We look forward to providing input to EPA, OMB and Congress.

“Ensuring a clear, consistent and accurate examination of costs and benefits in the regulatory process is a common-sense idea that has earned bipartisan support by presidents, policymakers and others over four decades. With thoughtful reforms, cost-benefit analysis can fulfill its important role in regulatory review.”

Chris Herr, Executive Vice President, PennAg Industries Association: “Pennsylvania’s agribusinesses rely on fully understanding the impact of federal regulations when planning for the future, and the EPA’s new cost-benefit rule will make doing business easier by providing greater financial certainty. Accounting for the full costs and benefits of regulations will provide clarity for the farmers and agricultural businesses that support and serve our nation’s food chain.”

Matt Hammond, President, Ohio Oil and Gas Association: “Clear regulations promote operational certainty so our members may continue to responsibly develop Ohio’s oil and gas resources. A robust cost benefit analysis is an important component of a transparent and responsible regulatory process.”

Rich Nolan, President and CEO, National Mining Association: “For too long the cost-benefit analysis has been distorted to overstate the benefits of certain rules solely to achieve political rather than environmental ends. In many cases, the EPA touted the co-benefits from pollutants that are already regulated under other rules – a double-counting that should have no place in consistent and transparent rulemakings – while also undervaluing the cost of regulatory compliance. Today’s proposed rule provides a pathway for a more reasonable regulatory process necessary to support the economic recovery that our nation is working towards.”

David Taylor, President, Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association: “Pennsylvania’s manufacturers and other essential sectors across our state will benefit greatly by the EPA’s new cost-benefit analysis rule.  For the first time, Pennsylvania’s business community will have a clear understanding of the benefits versus costs of new rules and regulations undertaken by the EPA.  Businesses will have much better ability to deploy capital and make decisions based on a better understanding of the regulatory system we are facing.”  

For more information on the proposal: https://www.epa.gov/air-and-radiation/proposed-rule-increasing-consistency-considering-benefits-and-costs-clean-air-act