Bill to limit EPA regulatory authority introduced in Senate

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., on July 25 introduced the Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013, which, like a bill introduced recently in the U.S. House, would limit U.S. Environmental Protection Agency latitude to impose expensive new regulations.

“Without oversight, the EPA has authority to issue unprecedented regulations that could wreak havoc on energy prices and threaten Nevada’s core industries,” said Heller. “In an already struggling economy, we cannot afford these regulations. Energy costs seep into every aspect of the American life, and it’s past time we stop the EPA in its tracks. I am pleased to join Congressman Cassidy in introducing this important legislation.”

Rep Bill Cassidy, R-La., sponsor of counterpart legislation in the House, said about Heller’s legislation: “The Energy Consumers Relief Act adds a layer of necessary transparency to the EPA ensuring that American workers are protected from unnecessary regulations. I appreciate Senator Heller championing this bill on the Senate side and I look forward to its passage.”

The bill would:

  • Require that prior to finalizing any energy-related rule costing more than $1bn, the EPA must submit a report to Congress detailing certain costs and benefits of the rules, as well as the impact on energy prices and jobs.
  • Prohibit EPA from finalizing a rule if the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with other involved agencies, determines the rule would cause significant adverse effects to the economy.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced on July 17 the companion House bill. H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act, was approved by a vote of 25 to 18.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.