EPA 'confident' Obama reg policy won't affect new climate rules

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “confident” it will not have to alter current or pending environmental regulations, including upcoming climate rules, as part of the new regulatory review framework President Obama outlined Tuesday.

“EPA is confident that our recent and upcoming steps to address GHG emissions under the Clean Air Act comfortably pass muster under the sensible standards the president has laid out,” an EPA official told The Hill in a statement Tuesday.

The official said this includes EPA’s current rules, including tighter fuel economy standards, as well as upcoming greenhouse gas standards for power plants and refineries. Both the current and pending regulations “have all been characterized by broad public participation, extensive transparency and thorough analysis,” the official said.

Under the new framework, announced by Obama on Tuesday, federal agencies must review current regulations and ensure upcoming regulations meet new standards regarding transparency, science and economic impact.

Industry and business groups cited the new framework Tuesday in calling on Obama to overturn or alter a number of the administration's regulations. The National Association of Manufacturers said Tuesday that the administration should halt upcoming climate regulations under the regulatory policy.

A senior administration official said earlier Tuesday that EPA’s climate rules would be subject to additional analysis, including cost-benefit analysis and efforts to reduce the burden on affected industries.

President Obama, in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Tuesday previewing his framework, argued that the benefits of the administration’s environmental regulations outweigh the costs.

EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara, in a statement, said the agency has already been following many of the protocols formalized Tuesday in Obama’s framework.

"OMB’s announcement formalizes what we at EPA have been doing under this new administration: using common sense and transparency to review regulations while rooting them in science, the law and the mission to protect Americans' health,” Alcantara said. “In fact, EPA's rules consistently yield billions in cost savings that make them among the most cost-effective in the government."