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EPA's boiler proposal sparks Hill backlash

By Juliet Eilperin

More than 100 House Democrats and Republicans have sent a sharply-worded letter to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa P. Jackson, suggesting a proposed rule to clean up industrial boilers nationwide could devastate U.S. manufacturing.

The industrial boilers letter effort, led by Reps. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) and Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.), represents an unusually-public rebuke of Jackson, who has pushed aggressively to enforce federal air-quality laws since taking control of the agency last year.

On June 4, EPA issued a proposal that would require industrial, commercial and institutional boilers and heaters to use "maximum achievable control technology" to cut harmful emissions that erode air quality and pose a public health risk. House members suggest in the letter that the rule could cost manufacturers "tens of billions of dollars" in compliance costs.

"As our nation struggles to recover from the current recession, we are deeply concerned that the potential impact of pending Clean Air Act regulations could be unsustainable for U.S. manufacturing and the high-paying jobs it provides."

The lawmakers--who include several vulnerable House Democrats from manufacturing states--urge EPA to "consider flexible approaches" in meeting the tougher emission requirements. Rep. Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.), said he's particularly worried about how the proposal rule would affect the forest products and paper industry in his district.

"The EPA should look out for public health issues, but we should work to achieve these goals while making sure we don't have unintended consequences that could punish manufacturing jobs during these tough times," Murphy said.

EPA officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the letter. However a source familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the issue, said White House aides had begun speaking to some of the letter's signatories about how to reach a compromise on the rule.


Juliet Eilperin

 |  August 5, 2010; 2:55 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Posted by: Mightymouse1 | August 9, 2010 10:41 AM
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Everything in moderation. Let's not through out the baby with the bathwater.

Posted by: Mightymouse1 | August 9, 2010 10:38 AM
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And what about all of the high-paying construction and engineering jobs which will be created when the pollution-control equipment is designed and built? What about reduced health care costs which will be the result of pollution reduction? The bottom line is that, pollution reduction is GOOD for the economy, and not reducing pollution is BAD for the economy. Kudos to the EPA for requiring pollution reduction. It stimulates economic growth as well as fostering good public health.

Posted by: EnviroWhacko | August 6, 2010 10:42 PM
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Why don't we go Metric and drop the Imperial units before doing anything else. Whet the hell wrong is with Congress? 'They' are not forced to purchase and use two incompatible tools and hardware set, like their forcing American Workers to do, for the last 35 years.

Posted by: ScrewWallStreet | August 5, 2010 8:34 PM
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I swear i think some of these people must work for a foreign government. They cant beat us militarily so they put in sleeper agent and just screw our industries up so much the economy collapses.

I will take off my tinfoil hat now but deep down i believe people in this country are trying to destroy us and i am not talking about the Republican/Democrat wars.

Posted by: PennyWisetheClown | August 5, 2010 6:46 PM
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