Dec 07 2010

Shelby Welcomes Delay in EPA Rules

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it is seeking an extension of the court-ordered schedule for implementing new emissions rules that would adversely affect thousands of businesses and jobs across the country. 

On June 4, 2010, the EPA proposed new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rules, including the so-called Boiler MACT and CISWI MACT.  Shelby raised strong objections to the proposal and joined a bipartisan group of 40 other Senators in writing a letter  to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing their concerns.  In the letter, the Senators stated that the proposed rules were not only unwarranted but also unworkable, and would lead to billions in unnecessary costs on businesses as well as thousands of job losses.  Today, the EPA announced that based on public comment the agency is requesting from the District Court for the District of Columbia an extension of the current deadline to reconsider and propose final rules on the issue.  

Upon learning of the EPA’s announcement today, Shelby released the following statement:

“The EPA’s proposed Boiler MACT regulations impose onerous burdens on US manufacturers, which if enacted, would lead to the loss of thousands of jobs in the energy sector,” said Shelby.  “Further, this rule would not only eliminate jobs throughout our State, but would discourage the current use of wood biomass as a renewable energy resource, increasing our nation’s dependence on conventional fossil fuels.  Today’s decision is the first step in what will hopefully be a full reversal of unnecessary regulation under the Clean Air Act.  Moving forward, we must balance the protection of the environment with the economic well-being of the country and our nation’s strategy towards energy independence.”

There are 61 boilers in Alabama that would be affected by the EPA’s proposed rules, of which 51 operate in the forest products industry.  Boiler MACT could cost the forest products industry in the U.S. over $6 billion in capital expenditures.  The capital cost of Boiler MACT for Alabama is estimated to be $710 million across all industries.

A scanned copy of the Senators’ June 24, 2010 letter to the EPA is attached.

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