GOP Amendments Aim to Strengthen Transparency and Independent Review of Costly Regulations

Sep 21, 2012

Washington, D.C. – Republican Members of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee last evening spoke on the House Floor and offered amendments in support of H.R. 3409, referred to as the “Stop the War on Coal Act.”  The bill passed the House today by a vote of 233 to 175.

Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX) made the following statement:

“I rise in strong support of the rule and H.R. 3409, the Stop the War on Coal Act.

This bill takes a number of simple, common sense, and long overdue steps to rein in the Obama Administration’s out of control EPA, which is waging an all-out war on American energy, and coal is at the heart of that war. 

Anyone who fails to believe such a war exists should speak to the people of Mount Pleasant, Texas in my Congressional District.  EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule threatened 500 jobs at two coal-fired power plants in Mount Pleasant.  Fortunately, the courts threw out this rule in August after finding that EPA went well beyond the law in its efforts to regulate coal out of existence.

We know EPA will go back to the drawing board.  H.R. 3409 adds needed protections for any future proposal, and in doing so protects jobs not only in Texas but in coal-producing and coal-using states all around the country.

The bill also blocks future efforts to attack coal through other regulations, most notably the EPA’s effort to enact economy-wide restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.  These rules are based on shaky science and would raise the cost of energy for all Americans.  They should never see the light of day.

I want to mention my support for two amendments made in order under this rule that will be offered by Members of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, of which I chair.  These amendments address serious problems with EPA science that the Committee highlighted during the 112th Congress. 

Specifically, Congressman Dan Benishek’s amendment will require that an analysis of the cost of regulations explicitly evaluate the potential negative health effects of regulations.

[Video of Rep. Benishek (R-MI) statement HERE]

Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris’ amendment would require that the scientific data EPA uses to justify its regulations is peer reviewed and made publicly available.

[Video of Rep. Harris (R-MD) statement HERE]

These amendments reinforce and strengthen the transparency and openness provisions in H.R. 3409.  I urge Members to support these amendments, this rule, and the underlying bill as well.

I yield back the balance of my time.”