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 InhofeTaiwan deserves to participate in United Nations Optimism rising for infrastructure deal Repeal of Obama drilling rule stalls in the Senate 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 AlexanderLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Overnight Healthcare: New GOP health bill on life support | ObamaCare insurer threatens to leave over subsidies Trump's FDA nominee clears key Senate committee MORE (R-Tenn.), Susan CollinsSusan CollinsThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Energy: Lawmakers work toward deal on miners’ benefits Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly MORE (R-Maine), Inhofe, Mark WarnerMark WarnerWant to grow the economy? Make student loan repayment assistance tax-free. Overnight Cybersecurity: DNC hackers also targeted French presidential candidate | Ex-acting AG Yates to testify at Senate Russia hearing Schumer: Senate Russia probe moving too slowly MORE (D-Va.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanTrump talks big on trade, but workers need action Trump tax plan prompts GOP fears about deficit Overnight Regulation: Senators call for 'cost-effective' regs | FCC chief unveils plans to roll back net neutrality MORE (R-Ohio).