This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee is expected to advance the “Energy Consumer Relief Act” for consideration. The Act would allow the head of the Department of Energy to veto any rules promulgated by the EPA with estimated “costs” of over $1 billion.
Center for Progressive Reform President Rena Steinzor testified against the bill in April at a Legislative Hearing.
Below is Steinzor’s reaction to the Committee’s movement of the Act:
The deceptively named, “Energy Consumer Relief Act” would effectively subsidize billion-dollar energy companies for their contamination of the environment at the expense of consumers suffering with pollution-related diseases like heart disease and asthma. The EPA has repeatedly been hamstrung by a regulatory process focused on cost-benefit analysis that estimates the lives of Americans in dollars and cents. This Act would effectively kneecap the Agency’s remaining ability to protect citizens against damaging pollutants. The statutory trigger of $1 billion is designed to be expansive enough so that a if a rule raised energy costs for all households by an average of just $0.87 per year for ten years, it would be subject to a veto by the secretary of the DOE. Our air and water are drastically under-regulated and Congress should be working to reinvigorate the ability of the EPA to protect citizens instead of wasting taxpayers money to debate a bill that would only make them, quite literally, sick.