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NAM’s Manufacturing Policy News

Steve Forbes: Obama’s Environmental Agenda Is “Sweeping And Destructive.”


In a guest post to The Hill’s (7/7) “Congress Blog,” media magnate Steve Forbes labels President Obama’s environmental goals “sweeping and destructive” and argues that they’ll “come at the expense of American workers and families.” He derides proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules affecting waterways, methane emissions, and ozone pollution, citing a NAM estimate that “the new ozone regulation will be the most expensive ever to come from Washington,” costing $140 billion in GDP and putting “1.4 million jobs at risk,” particularly in energy and manufacturing. Forbes also warns that if states attempt “Obama-like tactics” to impose environmental penalties on businesses, they will lose investment. If the federal government continues on its current course, “we could see our nation’s energy boom and a budding resurgence of U.S. manufacturing stall or collapse,” he writes. The US is “on the verge of a real energy and manufacturing renaissance,” but it will materialize only if “state and federal elected leaders” allow it.

Riordan: EPA Must Balance Standards With Cost To Community. In an opinion piece for the Daily Caller (7/7), Thomas J. Riordan, CEO of metal fabricator Neenah Enterprises, notes the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the EPA failed to evaluate fully the economic costs of a proposed rule before implementing it. The decision “should give the EPA pause as it considers another massive rule: tighter ground-level ozone standards, potentially the most costly regulation in this nation’s history,” Riordan writes, citing the NAM’s figure that $140 billion a year and 1.4 million could be lost if the stricter standard took effect. He calls this an “unachievable regulation” that “threatens to undermine the innovation that has helped to drive our nation’s manufacturing comeback.” Riordan also cites a recent NAM survey in which two-thirds of respondents rated their local air quality as “excellent or good” and two-thirds regarded “‘less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations’ as a bigger local problem.”

Mississippi Joins States Suing Over New EPA Water Rule. The AP (7/7), citing an announcement Tuesday from state Attorney General Jim Hood, reports that Mississippi has become the latest plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by three other states challenging the EPA’s assertion of authority “to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act.” The proposed “Waters of the United States” rule “has the potential of shifting primary regulatory responsibility over traditional state lands and waters from the states to the federal government,” giving the latter “unlawful” power, Hood said. Mississippi is joining a suit filed by the attorneys general of Texas, Louisiana, and Indiana, which itself follows similar complaints submitted by officials representing 24 other states, all within days of the rule’s June 29 publication.

EPA’s McCarthy Slams GOP Budget Cuts, Plays Down Mercury Ruling. The Hill (7/8, Cama) reports that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy made several public statements Tuesday, speaking to reporters and appearing at a discussion hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. She sharply criticized congressional Republicans’ proposed budget cuts for her agency, saying that eroding the EPA’s “core budget doesn’t just impact the Clean Power Plan and problems of the future” but also affects the agency’s ability “to protect … public health and the environment.” A House bill would slice 9% off the EPA budget, while the Senate version cuts nearly 7%. Both bills have policy riders that block much of the Obama administration’s regulatory agenda; the White House has threatened to veto the two measures. The Hill notes that McCarthy was joined in her criticism by the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Shaun Donovan, who said it was “becoming increasingly clear that Republicans are attempting to hijack the appropriations process to accomplish unrelated ideological proposals.” McCarthy also played down the impact of last week’s Supreme Court ruling on mercury standards, with the Christian Science Monitor (7/7, Gilmour, Unger) citing her as saying the 5-4 decision won’t affect implementation of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The AP (7/7, Daly) quotes the agency head as saying comparisons of the mercury standards with the still-pending clean-power initiative is “apples and oranges” because the efforts are focused on different areas. She also expressed confidence that the rules will survive legal challenges, saying the EPA is “very good at writing rules and defending them in court, and this will be no exception.”

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