A letter to our senators: Nix EPA rule

CACI President Chuck Berry recently sent a letter to Colorado U.S Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, urging them to negate a proposed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule that would essentially require permits for utilities and energy providers.

Here is the text of the letter: 

On behalf of the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, I am writing once again to share the concerns that many of our members have expressed with the EPA’s “endangerment finding” and the subsequent consequences of that finding now that the EPA has promulgated what it calls a “tailoring rule,” which basically requires permits for utility and other energy provider in 2011.

Please recall that I initially wrote you on March 2 of this year to express CACI’s concerns. There is a vote scheduled in the Senate that would bring common sense to EPA rulemaking on this matter, and I urge you to vote for the Murkowski Resolution under the Congressional Review Act, which would overturn EPA’s proposed regulation. 

EPA’s new rule leaves no room for common-sense agreements that address carbon emissions while protecting this nation’s struggling economy. Instead, it requires a “Best Available Control Technology” review when no carbon-capture technology has been proven in the field. In addition, the EPA’s proposal is poorly timed because Congress and the states are currently engaged in an extensive debate over how and to what extent the U.S. should limit its use of fossil fuels as a means of reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere. The Colorado General Assembly extensively debated this issue during the recently adjourned session, particularly with respect to HB10-1365 and other legislation.  

EPA’s proposed regulatory requirements of the Clean Air Act would overwhelm Colorado state agencies and the EPA regional offices, which are not equipped to handle the many permitting requests anticipated. Only Congress can act to avoid the significant costs and burdens imposed by the proposed regulations on stationary sources, which even some within the EPA admit could lead to “absurd results.” 

The pending EPA effort would burden progress on two of the nation’s top priorities–environmental improvement and economic recovery–by imposing onerous permitting requirements that will significantly delay or even eliminate investments in new, energy-efficient technologies. Nationwide, millions of jobs were lost in 2009 and these proposed regulations have the potential to not only cause even more job losses but to hamstring our national energy providers even further with conflicting, confusing regulatory requirements. 

Regardless of how one views the science on this matter, it is clear from the outcome of the Copenhagen discussions that there will be no meaningful international agreement that puts all nations on a level playing-field with respect to carbon emissions. In the absence of such an international agreement, it would be extremely unwise for the U.S. to undertake such regulatory action as contemplated by EPA both from an economic as well as environmental standpoint.  

Without a concerted global effort, it is widely accepted that no one American state–much less one country–can affect the global climate. Even so, Colorado is not unique in requiring, through statute, an ever increasing amount of renewable energy be part of the fuel mix.  

Any attempt by the EPA to further regulate carbon emissions from stationary sources would be damaging to Colorado and the entire nation.

CACI strongly encourages you to carefully consider its views on this important issue. We join the many voices urging you to support legislative action that would suspend EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. CACI urges you, as a Member of Congress representing the State of Colorado, to bring common sense to this process and vote in favor of the Murkowski Resolution on June 10th or whenever it finally is brought to the vote of the full Senate.
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