Key senators signal willingness to take action on EPA boiler rules in Congress

The senators offered to take action in Congress to give the agency more leeway in crafting the rules.

“We stand ready to assist you in finding a reasonable solution, one that allows EPA to craft new rules that are achievable and protective of public health without sacrificing economic recovery and manufacturing jobs,” the senators said in the letter.

Matt Dempsey, spokesman for Sen. James InhofeJames InhofeA guide to the committees: Senate GOP considers ways to ‘modernize’ endangered species law GOP bill would eliminate Consumer Financial Protection Bureau MORE (R-Okla.), told The Hill on Friday that the senators would not be able to take action until after next week’s recess, so the agency will still have to issue its final regulations on Monday.

But he said the letter shows that lawmakers “appreciate that the EPA is in a difficult spot” and are willing to help. Dempsey said lawmakers could craft legislation to change the timeline of the rule's implementation or make changes to the regulations.

So far, Jackson has stressed that she does not need lawmakers’ help. Asked by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) earlier this month if she would like Congress to work to push back the deadline for issuing the final regulations, Jackson said there was no need.

Industry groups and many lawmakers railed against draft boiler regulations issued by the EPA in April, arguing they were unrealistic. Amid the widespread industry opposition to the rules, the agency promised to issue “significantly different” final regulations.

The letter was signed by Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderA guide to the committees: Senate Overnight Healthcare: Trump officials weigh fate of birth control mandate | House, DOJ seek delay in ObamaCare lawsuit House, Justice Department ask for delay in ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (R-Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsA guide to the committees: Senate Pruitt sworn in as EPA chief Comey meets Intel senators amid uproar over Trump-Russia ties MORE (R-Maine), Inhofe, Mark WarnerMark WarnerA guide to the committees: Senate Report: Senate Intel Committee asks agencies to keep records related to Russian probe Comey meets Intel senators amid uproar over Trump-Russia ties MORE (D-Va.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Rob PortmanRob Portman­ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate Two tax issues dividing Republicans on ObamaCare MORE (R-Ohio).