By Darren Goode - 11/10/10 09:52 PM EST
Senate Environment and Public Works ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said the EPA guidelines are "an important part of the Obama Administration's backdoor cap-and-trade agenda, which seeks to impose the very rules and regulations that will make electricity more expensive, jobs more scarce, and keep the economy mired in stagnation.”
“These are the very rules and regulations that can't pass Congress, and that the voters, especially those most impacted by them, resoundingly rejected,” Inhofe said.
Industry critics also chimed in with criticism.
“The EPA is railroading job killing regulations onto states, localities and America’s businesses, during a time of uncertain economic recovery, without giving those affected adequate time to review, provide comments, or even implement the new regulations,” said Howard Feldman, director of regulatory and scientific affairs at the American Petroleum Institute.
The EPA’s greenhouse gas controls take effect Jan. 2, “but it’s already November and EPA is just now releasing guidance documents for permitting,” Feldman said.
National Association of Manufacturers President John Engler said “manufacturers remain very concerned with the EPA’s overreaching agenda.” Manufacturing projects could be subject to a production moratorium of sorts since it is “questionable whether the state agencies have the resources or the capacity to expeditiously issue new permits,” he said.
Scott Segal, an industry lobbyist with Bracewell & Giuliani, said EPA issued merely “a listing of options that offers no clarity for the case-by-case analyses that will ensue.” These analysis will take EPA two years, he said, during which there “will essentially be … a construction moratorium that could materially hamper economic recovery and could eliminate many more jobs than federal stimulus programs have supposedly created.”
EPA air quality chief Gina McCarthy said the guidelines Wednesday would provide a smooth transition for regulators and regulated industries.
“This does not represent an opportunity for any construction moratorium,” McCarthy told reporters.
The guidelines were praised by environmental groups.
“Energy efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce pollution and save money, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” said Mark MacLeod, director of special projects at Environmental Defense Fund and co-chair of an EPA climate change advisory group. “Today’s guidance will prepare companies for the permitting process and help them find ways to cut pollution while saving money for themselves and their customers.”