Amendment Text: H.Amdt.445 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)

There is one version of the amendment.

Shown Here:
Amendment as Offered (07/31/2013)

This Amendment appears on page H5248 in the following article from the Congressional Record.



[Pages H5242-H5249]
                  ENERGY CONSUMERS RELIEF ACT OF 2013


                             General Leave

  Mr. WHITFIELD. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include extraneous material on H.R. 1582.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Joyce). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 315 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 1582.
  The Chair appoints the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen) to 
preside over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1838


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 1582) to protect consumers by prohibiting the Administrator of 
the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating as final certain 
energy-related rules that are estimated to cost more than $1 billion 
and will cause significant adverse effects to the economy, with Ms. 
Ros-Lehtinen in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Whitfield) and the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Waxman) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  This evening, we will be debating H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers 
Relief Act of 2013, authored by the distinguished gentleman from 
Louisiana (Mr. Cassidy), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
  Madam Chairman, one of the major issues that the American people face 
today is a slow growth in its economy. Our economy has been sluggish 
for some time. The last quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013, 
gross domestic product grew by less than 2 percent. And in the last 15 
quarters, the growth of our economy in America has been the slowest 
since World War II. So we need to do everything in this country to 
promote economic growth, and this bill looks at the impact of 
regulations as obstacles to economic growth.
  I want to just read a few of the regulations that have been adopted 
by EPA since January 2009:
  Greenhouse gas regulations for cars, and these are EPA numbers. It 
cost $52 billion. Greenhouse gas standards for cars 2017-2025, $144 
billion; greenhouse gas standards for trucks, $8 billion; Utility MACT, 
$9.6 billion annually; Boiler MACT, $2.2 billion annually.
  Now, I could go on and on, but I think that that shows that the cost 
of some of these regulations present serious obstacles to economic 
growth. So the legislation that we consider tonight is simply a 
commonsense approach, a way to review the impact of energy-related 
regulations at the Environmental Protection Agency.
  All this legislation does is this:
  The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may not 
promulgate as final an energy-related rule that is estimated to cost 
more than $1 billion unless:
  One, they make a report to Congress setting out what the regulation 
does; and
  Two, the Secretary of Energy, working with the Federal Energy 
Regulatory Commission, the Administrator of the Energy Information 
Administration, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Small Business 
Administration will look at these regulations and look at the impact on 
consumer energy cost, the impact on employment, and the impact on 
economic growth. The Department of Energy certainly has the expertise 
to analyze these kinds of figures, and if the Secretary determines that 
it would be harmful to economic growth, then the Secretary can actually 
stop the regulation from taking effect.
  Now, the good news is, at that point, EPA could go back and redo the 
process. But I can tell you, from my personal experience of working 
with people in my district who are affected by regulations every day, 
most people genuinely believe that there's not anything wrong with 
having other government agencies review the impact of the cost of 
regulations on the economy, on jobs, on the price of fuel. That's 
precisely what Dr. Cassidy's bill does. I think it's a commonsense 
approach and something that the American people need as additional 
protections.
  With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Affordable and reliable energy is critical for our basic necessities, 
from heating or cooling

[[Page H5243]]

homes, to transportation and obtaining healthcare. When energy prices 
rise, it threatens public health because it hurts the poor and 
disadvantaged disproportionately.
  Energy is also critical for a growing economy. When energy prices 
rise, it can cause job losses that can be devastating to public health.
  Given the prolonged weakness in the economy, high unemployment, and 
rising gasoline and other energy prices, the Nation can ill-afford to 
be further burdened by billion-dollar energy regulations that destroy 
jobs and significantly harm the economy.
  Today we have an opportunity to help protect families, consumers, and 
manufacturers from rising energy costs triggered by billion-dollar 
energy regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. We 
can do this by requiring greater transparency and more inter-agency 
scrutiny of EPA's most expensive energy regulations, and that is why I 
urge all of my colleagues to support H.R. 1582, the ``Energy Consumers 
Relief Act.''
  This additional scrutiny of EPA's costs and benefits analysis is 
warranted. For example, EPA estimated that only 4,700 MW of coal-fired 
generation would be lost as a result of its Utility MACT rule. Yet, 
with 2 years left until the 2015 compliance deadline, nearly 44,000 MW 
of coal-fired generation have already announced retirement.
  Further, we received testimony before the Energy and Power 
Subcommittee that under EPA's formula used to measure job impacts, the 
more costly the regulation, the greater the job increase EPA's formula 
will project. The use of such fuzzy math to calculate employment 
impacts led one economist to conclude, ``one cannot characterize the 
current formula favored by EPA as an economic methodology at all.''
  It's exactly these types of skewed methodologies and flawed results 
that H.R. 1582 will help shine a light on. We owe it to the American 
people to ensure that our federal agencies are not overstating benefits 
or understating economic impacts to further political agendas.
  Such scrutiny will become increasingly critical as EPA and the 
Administration attempt to justify its forthcoming greenhouse gas 
regulations on coal-fired power plants with unsound and untested 
``Social Cost of Carbon'' methodology.
  With more EPA billion-dollar energy-related rules on the horizon, it 
is imperative that we understand the impacts of these rules on jobs and 
the economy before they are implemented.
  By passing the ``Energy Consumers Relief Act'' we have the chance to 
protect American consumers and businesses from billion-dollar 
regulations that significantly harm the economy. And I might add that 
this Act does nothing to affect existing laws and regulations that 
protect public health and the environment.
  I urge all my colleagues to support this bill.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  This Republican bill is simply a disguised assault on EPA rules that 
protect human health and the environment. That's why the White House 
has said that the President would veto this bill--if it got to him.
  Last Congress, this House, under Republican leadership--they know how 
to dress, but they don't know how to legislate. The Republicans voted 
over 300 times to roll back environmental laws. Nearly half of these 
votes were efforts to block EPA rules.
  The House voted to block EPA standards for mercury, a serious toxin, 
and other air pollutants that are similarly poisonous from power plants 
and incinerators.

                              {time}  1845

  The House voted to strip EPA of authority to set water quality 
standards. The House even voted to overturn EPA's scientific finding 
that carbon pollution endangers health and the environment.
  The problem the Republicans face is that the public doesn't want more 
air and water pollution. They don't support these attacks on public 
health standards that protect our kids and our seniors. The public 
doesn't want to weaken the Clean Air Act or the Clean Water Act or the 
Safe Drinking Water Act. The public supports our bedrock environmental 
laws.
  So it should come as no surprise that none of these attacks on EPA in 
the last Congress became law. They all died in the Senate.
  Now, House Republicans are trying a new approach: rather than 
blocking EPA action directly, they want to give another agency veto 
power over EPA rules.
  Under this bill, if the Department of Energy determines that a rule 
proposed by EPA would cause any ``significant adverse effects to the 
economy,'' EPA would be blocked from finalizing the rule.
  This bill would set a terrible precedent. If we give DOE a veto power 
over EPA, where do we stop? Are we next going to give the Department of 
Commerce a veto over the State Department or the IRS a veto over the 
FDA? This kind of thinking would mean that our government would be so 
dysfunctional that the whole government would look like the Congress of 
the United States.
  Even if DOE does not veto an EPA rule, the extensive analysis 
required under the bill could delay EPA rules for years, which means 
more air pollution, more asthma for our kids, and more danger to our 
planet.
  We have an obligation to our children and future generations to 
protect our atmosphere while there is still time. We need to be acting 
faster, not putting on the brakes to benefit the big polluters.
  This is a costly bill. The Congressional Budget Office says that the 
price tag for all the reviews and the reports required under this 
legislation would be $35 million over 5 years. This is money that we 
don't have to spend, especially since the DOE reviews will simply be 
duplicative of exhaustive analysis already done by the EPA. And while 
EPA is acting, they can give EPA their point of view.
  And consider this point: at the same time that the House Republicans 
are telling DOE to undertake exhaustive analysis of EPA rules, they are 
slashing DOE's budget. DOE could end up with no resources to do these 
reviews. Existing statutory deadlines for EPA to issue public health 
standards would be replaced with indefinite delay.
  This bill is a recipe for making the Federal agencies dysfunctional. 
No one should want that.
  Let me give you an example of the kind of public health standard this 
bill is designed to block. During the committee markup, the chairman of 
the Energy and Power Subcommittee argued that this legislation is 
needed because he was not satisfied with EPA's analysis of the mercury 
and air toxics rule. He wasn't satisfied. EPA did a whole analysis. 
They got the costs; they got the benefits. It was all quantified.
  Every year, EPA's standards will help reduce mercury pollution, 
prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, and deliver up to $90 billion in 
benefits to the Nation. But this individual Member wasn't satisfied. 
It's a tremendous success story that will deliver up to $9 of benefits 
for every $1 spent. That's what EPA was proposing to do. No Member of 
Congress, no other department, should stop those kinds of regulations 
from being put in place.
  The fact that this rule is the poster child for the public health 
rule this legislation is designed to block shows just how misguided 
this legislation truly is.
  This bill is deeply flawed; it is a veiled assault on critical public 
health and environmental protections. I urge all Members to oppose this 
latest Republican attempt to gut our Nation's cornerstone environmental 
laws, which were adopted by bipartisan votes. And now the Republicans 
in a partisan way are trying to make sure those laws do not work to 
protect public health and the environment.
  Madam Chair, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I might say, with all due respect to my 
friend from California, that he is exactly correct. I was not satisfied 
with Utility MACT, but primarily because EPA misled the American 
people. Publicly they were always talking about the mercury reductions 
and that the benefits would come from mercury reductions. Yet at the 
hearing, EPA's own analysis showed that the benefits were not there for 
mercury reductions; the benefits were there from particulate matter 
reduction. So I don't see why they deliberately misled the American 
people on that.
  I might just make one other brief comment. We were talking about the 
money involved by the Department of Energy in implementing this bill. 
At the end of fiscal year 2012, the Department of Energy had over $2.36 
billion in excess carry-over balances.
  At this time, I would like to yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from 
Louisiana, Dr. Cassidy, the author of this bill.

[[Page H5244]]

  Mr. CASSIDY. Madam Chair, I want to thank Chairman Upton, Chairman 
Whitfield, and their staff for their hard work in preparing this 
important legislation and bringing it to the House floor, which, by the 
way, passed the committee with bipartisan support.
  Currently, millions of Americans are unemployed or underemployed, 
millions more have left the labor force entirely, and our economy 
continues to struggle to recover.
  This is particularly true among blue collar workers, blue collar 
workers who have traditionally been employed in mining, manufacturing, 
and construction. Those three are related because the mining, the 
bringing of resources from underneath the ground, fuels literally 
energy-intensive manufacturing enterprises, which will then go on to 
make steel, use the steel to construct pipelines, or first make steel 
pipes, then to construct pipelines. It is an energy-intensive economy 
that brings good jobs with good benefits to blue collar workers. I have 
no clue why folks on the other side of the aisle are so hostile to our 
blue collar workers.
  While we have all these millions unemployed, the EPA has been 
advancing an expansive regulatory assault on the production and 
distribution of affordable and reliable energy.
  Now, by the way, current regulations don't change. That does not roll 
back anything. This is only about prospective regulations. So if there 
is a concern about the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, those 
regulations as they have currently been enforced remain the same. It is 
just that numerous new regulations have created uncertainty, 
contributing to an unprecedented number of announced power plant 
shutdowns, destroying blue collar jobs, increasing energy costs on 
manufacturers, and raising concern regarding electrical grid 
reliability.
  Although the EPA attributes large public health benefits to billion-
dollar regulations, their scientific analysis has been sharply 
criticized, with one public health expert saying their method of 
analysis is misleading to public policymakers.
  Another, the National Academy of Science, on a formaldehyde rule 
saying that the conclusions are not justified by the methodology or the 
research that was presented.

  We are using faulty research to justify the destruction of blue 
collar jobs. I don't know why anybody wouldn't want to be for this, but 
some are not.
  There are concerns that the EPA ignores a significant public health 
cost associated with energy prices and result in job losses. I'm a doc. 
I know that when someone loses their job with good benefits and goes on 
something like Medicaid their health suffers.
  There is a researcher, Dr. Till von Wachter, currently an associate 
professor of economics at UCLA, who testified that job losses can lead 
to significant reductions in life expectancy of 1 to 1.5 years. This 
isn't just a parent, the worker; it's their children as well. It is so 
well documented, and yet folks are just cavalier and casual about the 
job losses that EPA regulation brings about. When energy becomes 
expensive or unreliable, public health is threatened, as that research 
shows.
  All we are asking for here is accountability and transparency to 
determine the full impact of EPA's major energy-related regulations--
the impact it will have on jobs, energy prices, and our Nation's 
economy. If the benefit outweighs the cost, the rule goes forward; but 
if the cost greatly outweighs the benefit, then let's just stick up for 
the blue collar worker, her family, let's just stick up for them so 
maybe they don't have to go on government dependency.
  By the way, it is not unprecedented. OMB has previously put a hold on 
EPA rules, and EPA has the right to put a hold on Army Corps of 
Engineer rulings. Commonly, agencies are accountable to one another. 
All we ask is that the EPA will be accountable to the Department of 
Energy, but, if you will, to the American people.
  This rule requires that if the energy rules are appropriately 
reviewed by the Secretary of Energy, consulting with the other relevant 
agencies to determine whether the proposed rules will cause significant 
adverse effects to the economy if this review takes place and it does 
not outweigh the benefits, then the rule is put on hold. By so doing, 
the legislation ensures energy cost and economic and job impacts are 
given appropriate consideration.
  It is important to note, again, nothing in the legislation prevents 
consideration of both cost and benefits in the proposed rule; and an 
independent and thorough review by Federal departments with expertise 
in energy and economic analysis is merely a check, merely a call, for 
EPA to be transparent, which they have not been in the past.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I yield an additional minute to the 
gentleman from Louisiana.
  Mr. CASSIDY. The bill will protect consumers from higher energy 
prices by providing additional oversight of EPA's most expensive rules 
that regulate the production, supply, distribution, or use of energy. 
Most importantly, it protects blue collar jobs from construction by an 
overzealous bureaucrat who just decides because they have something 
that they want to do and they don't wish to be transparent about it, it 
is okay to destroy blue collar jobs.
  I urge all Members to support H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief 
Act of 2013.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I am pleased at this time to yield 5 minutes 
to the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Rush), the ranking member of the 
subcommittee from which this bill emerged.
  Mr. RUSH. I want to thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Madam Chair, I rise today in strong opposition to this horrendous 
bill, H.R. 1582.
  Although this bill is called the Energy Consumers Relief Act, a more 
appropriate title would be the Shamelessly Blocking Public Health 
Protections Act.
  While the gentleman from Louisiana and the rest of my Republican 
colleagues may attempt to fool the American people into thinking that 
this is some kind of a jobs bill, the fact of the matter is, as the 
Republican leadership admitted on national television a few days ago, 
the majority party is not interested in working on legislation to 
address the real problems that American families face, but rather they 
are more concerned with trying to overturn and undo any and all of the 
initiatives that the President has already accomplished. Whatever 
President Obama has done, the Republicans want to undo.
  So, Madam Chair, while the majority party proudly wears the label as 
the leaders of one of the most ineffective, do-nothing Congresses of 
all times, we are here today yet again spending valuable time debating 
yet another rhetorical, meaningless message bill that will never ever 
become law, instead of working on real problems that confront the 
American people.

                              {time}  1900

  Madam Chairman, I am here today to say enough is enough.
  Let us get back to the business of governing by working on 
legislation to put Americans back to work and to get our economy 
running at full steam once again for the benefit of all the American 
people. Instead, we are here debating a bill that we know and that my 
colleagues on the other side of the aisle know is dead on arrival in 
the Senate due to its radical and extreme positions.
  Make no mistake about it, Madam Chairman. This bill is not about 
making government more open and more accountable to the American 
people. In fact, the opposite is true. This bill is simply and solely 
about blocking the EPA from finalizing rules that would make our air 
and our water cleaner and help avert catastrophic climate change.
  This bill has many problems, but its most egregious flaw is that it 
gives the Department of Energy an unprecedented veto over the most 
important EPA rules, which are to protect human health and to protect 
our Nation's environment.
  The EPA regulations most likely to be delayed or the most likely to 
be destroyed by this legislation have tremendous benefits for human 
health and the environment, including money saved on energy bills and 
at the gas pump; reductions in the emissions of toxic pollutants, which 
cause cancer and developmental delays in children;

[[Page H5245]]

hospitalizations that will be averted; and the prevention of asthma 
attacks and premature deaths, all of which provide real benefits to the 
American people--real people.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. WAXMAN. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.
  Mr. RUSH. The title of this bill is the Energy Consumers Relief Act, 
but yet the majority prevented me from offering an amendment that 
simply stated that the EPA rules could not be blocked if they resulted 
in consumers saving money at the gas pump. So, if the purpose of this 
bill were truly to provide relief to consumers, then allowing my 
amendment would have been, simply, a no-brainer.
  Madam Chairman, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but 
you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Enough is enough. 
Let us get back to considering real legislation.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chairman, I would like to remind everyone once 
again that this legislation applies only to energy-related regulations 
that exceed $1 billion. That's all that it applies to.
  At this time, I would like to yield 3 minutes to the distinguished 
gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Rothfus).
  (Mr. ROTHFUS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. ROTHFUS. Madam Chairman, I rise in support of the Energy 
Consumers Relief Act.
  This commonsense legislation will protect workers, families, small 
businesses, and manufacturers by providing for more rigorous oversight 
and public disclosure of expensive and job-killing EPA regulations.
  Yesterday, President Obama's new EPA Administrator demonstrated how 
out of touch she was by denying that regulations have an impact on 
jobs. She is quoted as saying: ``Can we stop talking about 
environmental regulations killing jobs, please, at least for today?''
  We'll stop talking about it when they stop robbing us of the jobs 
that support our communities.
  Within the last month, regulations have cost another 300 jobs in 
western Pennsylvania. The damage wrought by these regulations extends 
far beyond the individual families affected. They hurt their 
surrounding communities where these moms and dads live, work, and send 
their kids to school. They increase the cost of energy, which is a 
direct cost on families and businesses. It is especially painful for 
seniors and others who live on fixed incomes.
  I urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation that will protect 
workers, families, and businesses from higher electricity prices, less 
reliable energy, and more lost jobs.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I am now pleased to yield 3 minutes to the 
gentleman from New York (Mr. Tonko), who is the ranking member of the 
subcommittee called Environment and the Economy.
  Mr. TONKO. Thank you, Ranking Member Waxman, for the opportunity to 
share some thoughts on this legislation.
  Madam Chair, H.R. 1582 is yet another attempt to block the 
Environmental Protection Agency from fulfilling its mission, which is 
to protect public health and our environment.
  The bill is premised on the false notion that the protection of 
public health and the environment comes at the price of jobs. Simply, 
it does not. H.R. 1582 is not about transparency or fairness. The bill 
creates a burdensome and duplicative requirement for analysis by the 
Department of Energy, designed to block EPA from moving forward to 
address climate change.
  The people standing in the way of policy to address climate change 
are willing to subject us to ever-increasing costs of natural 
disasters, damaged infrastructure, and the loss of lives and 
livelihoods.
  Why? To preserve our dependence on a fossil fuel-only energy economy.
  Proposed regulations are analyzed and reviewed now under multiple 
laws and multiple executive orders. Rules in the Federal Register 
consume more page numbers now due to the requirements for additional 
analyses and documentation under the Paperwork Reduction Act, the 
Unfunded Mandates Act, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, and multiple 
executive orders. These additional analyses, studies, and peer reviews 
have repeatedly shown that EPA's rules are justified and deliver many 
more benefits to people's health and our environment than costs to 
business. If and when they do not, either the rule does not go forward 
or opponents can have their day in court.
  H.R. 1582 pits one department against another. The Secretary of the 
Department of Energy should not have veto power over regulations that 
EPA is empowered by law to issue. There are ample opportunities for 
interagency consultation during the rulemaking process. Regulations to 
improve our air quality and to address other pollution problems have 
been opposed over the years with the threat that controlling pollution 
would bankrupt our industries and our economy. That has not happened. 
We have managed to create a cleaner, healthier environment for our 
people and have a robust, dynamic recovery. H.R. 1582 is designed to 
hamstring the EPA and continue to delay action on the looming, serious 
challenge of climate change.

  We can and must do better. We have the innovative capacity to meet 
these challenges. The only thing lacking is political will--political 
will to move forward. This Nation did not become great by denying and 
avoiding challenges. Avoiding this problem will only increase costs and 
risks across the Nation. I oppose H.R. 1582, and I urge my colleagues 
to do the same.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, may I ask how much time is remaining.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky has 18 minutes remaining, and 
the gentleman from California has 15 minutes remaining.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I would like to yield 3 minutes to a very 
important member of our full committee, the gentleman from New York 
(Mr. Engel).
  Mr. ENGEL. Madam Chair, I rise in strong opposition to this bill.
  As far as I am concerned, this is just another attack on the EPA. 
Some of my colleagues have spent hundreds of hours this session 
attacking the EPA. May I remind them that Congress set up the EPA to 
regulate dangerous and toxic substances in order to keep our air and 
water clean. We must continue to support the EPA in this task. Who 
would not want clean air and clean water? I think the EPA does a fine 
job in protecting us.
  My district has one of the highest asthma rates in the country. It is 
one of the reasons that I championed clean energy and have argued for 
strong EPA rules to help protect our children.
  If this bill had been law already, the EPA could have been delayed or 
blocked from finalizing the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, which set 
emissions limits for new coal- and oil-fired power plants for mercury 
and other toxic air pollutants. Why would anyone want to block the EPA 
from doing that? The EPA estimates that these new standards will save 
up to 11,000 lives and prevent 130,000 asthma attacks. That's good 
enough for me.
  There are many, many reasons to continue to support the EPA. This 
bill, unfortunately, does not do that, so I urge my colleagues to 
oppose this bill and to support the EPA in a goal we should all share 
of protecting our air and water.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I continue to reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I only have one more speaker on my side.
  May I inquire of the manager of the bill, how about you?
  Mr. WHITFIELD. We have no other speakers.
  Mr. WAXMAN. So, under those circumstances, I would like to yield 
myself the balance of my time.
  Madam Chair, there was a claim from one of the supporters of this 
bill that the EPA is using faulty science to justify its rules. In 
fact, the proponents of this bill are using faulty examples to try to 
justify this ridiculous bill. For example, the gentleman from 
Louisiana's chief example of a faulty EPA rule is what he refers to as 
a ``formaldehyde rule.'' In fact, this isn't a rule. It is a draft 
scientific assessment that is completely unrelated to the energy-
related rules that are the subject of this bill. I do want to point out 
that pollution control regulations create jobs because they create 
clean technologies that the whole world wants.

[[Page H5246]]

  The proponents of this bill claim they are worried about jobs and the 
unemployed. I think they're crying crocodile tears. The Republicans are 
for the sequestration, which is costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. 
They are threatening the U.S. with default. They are against food 
stamps for people who don't have jobs and who don't have food to eat. 
Give me a break. They're not trying to save jobs; they're trying to 
save some of these big polluting industries that have to pay to reduce 
their pollution.
  Now, we've heard that this bill is going to provide more checks and 
balances because the EPA will then have its rules reviewed by the 
Department of Energy, but EPA rules go through a very extensive 
interagency process. Other agencies, including the Department of 
Energy, can make their views known to the EPA. The Office of Management 
and Budget already has the ability to have any concerns addressed 
before they allow EPA rules to go forward. These rules go through 
months or even years of scrutiny before they are issued, but this bill 
creates a new, unchecked authority for the Department of Energy to veto 
public health rules. That's a terrible idea.
  Why would we give one agency the unchecked authority to block another 
agency's rules? There are plenty of checks and balances in the existing 
law.

                              {time}  1050

  Then we hear the argument that this bill is really about transparency 
because somebody else should be overseeing EPA rulemaking. But, in 
fact, this bill will do the opposite. The bill creates a duplicative 
and confused regulatory process for EPA rules. After EPA has done its 
analysis, they've weighed the risks and the costs and the benefits, 
they've heard from people who are claiming the costs are too high, 
they've heard from people claiming the benefits are not enough. 
Whatever the claims are, they evaluate those claims based on science. 
And according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, if we let 
EPA review all these regulations again from scratch, the taxpayers are 
going to pay $35 billion.
  The bill gives the Department of Energy an unprecedented veto over 
EPA public health rules. And you know what? There's no public comment 
when DOE does that. They don't hear from the public. They'll hear from 
the industry, but they won't hear from the public. They're not equipped 
to evaluate the scientific health benefits. They're looking at the 
costs. It's a skewed DOE analysis. This bill is not about transparency.
  We were told this is not over any simple rules; it's only over the 
expensive ones, regulations that will cost over a billion dollars. A 
billion dollars over a year? A billion dollars over 10 years? A billion 
dollars over 20 years? There is no definition of that. They say a 
billion dollars. Okay. But that could, then, be used to stop a rule 
that is far less than what people think it would cost, and, of course, 
the benefits have to outweigh the cost before the rule can even be 
issued by EPA.
  I want to give a good example of regulations that would be stopped by 
this legislation. EPA and the Department of Transportation work 
together on tailpipe standards and fuel efficiency rules for 
automobiles and other motor vehicles. There are huge benefits. They 
help consumers save money at the pump. When you have a car that runs on 
more miles per gallon, you're saving money. We're also protecting the 
environment because we're not burning as much carbon.
  Under the rules, by 2025, Americans will be able to travel twice as 
far on a gallon of gas, which will save consumers thousands of dollars. 
But that rule won't go into effect because the DOE now has to get 
involved. Transportation and EPA are proposing rules over their 
jurisdiction, over transportation and over air pollution. These rules, 
which could lead to consumers seeing gasoline at the pump drop by over 
a dollar a gallon, could be held up.
  And even though these rules are all supported by the major auto 
companies, including Ford, GM, and Chrysler, these rules will cut U.S. 
emissions and carbon pollution by $6 billion, but this bill could 
prevent EPA from adopting new vehicle rules that will save consumers 
even more money and continue to address the threat of climate change.
  This is a very bad bill. It doesn't make sense, and I urge my 
colleagues to vote against it.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Once again I want to thank Dr. Cassidy for authoring this bill and 
bringing it to the House floor.
  I would like to remind everyone that EPA has made great strides. We 
all recognize the improvements that have been made in our air quality, 
water quality, particulate matter, et cetera. As a matter of fact, 
carbon dioxide emissions are the lowest that they've been in 20 years 
here in America. Yet I would say that EPA is not the Holy Grail. The 
EPA does make mistakes.
  I would like to just read a couple of comments from some witnesses 
who testified over the last year at the Energy and Commerce Committee's 
Energy and Power Subcommittee. Dr. Peter Valberg, former member of the 
Harvard School of Public Health, testified that ``there are major 
questions about EPA's forecast of serious health effects caused by 
small increments in particulate matter levels. EPA's statistical 
approach is fraught with numerous assumptions and uncertainties.''
  Dr. Tony Cox of the Colorado School of Public Health testified that 
``the use of statistical associations to address causal questions about 
health effects of regulation is not only technically incorrect, but, as 
practiced by EPA and others, is also highly misleading to 
policymakers.''
  Then Dr. Anne Smith, an economist with NERA Economic Consulting, 
talked about the uncertainties and the statistical models used by EPA 
having serious flaws.
  All we're saying is at a time when the economy is struggling--
particularly now--and when EPA is the most aggressive that it has been 
in recent memory--as a matter of fact, even though our CO
2
 
emissions are down to the lowest level in 20 years, America is the only 
country in the world where you cannot build a new coal-powered plant. 
All this legislation does is it says if EPA comes up with a new 
regulation, energy related, that costs over a billion dollars, they've 
got to make a report to Congress.
  Then the Secretary of Energy, working with the Secretary of Commerce 
and the Small Business Administration and the Energy Information 
Agency, they will look and they will see what is the impact of this 
regulation upon the cost of energy, the cost of gasoline, the cost of 
electricity; what is the impact on causing jobs to be lost or a plant 
maybe not to be built and a job will be lost or a plant will close. So 
it's not dictating anything.
  It's the Cabinet members of the same administration simply reviewing 
all of the evidence, doing its own analysis, and then deciding that if 
it has significant impact on the economy, then they can rule that the 
regulation will not take effect, at which point the EPA can go back, 
make some adjustments, and redo it.
  I think it's a good piece of legislation that provides additional 
transparency and additional review of the regulation, the impact on the 
economy, the impact on jobs, the impact on prices. And what is wrong 
with that? What is wrong with the Congress getting a report back from 
the agency and letting the other Department heads in the government 
review it? That's all this legislation is about.
  I urge Members to support this legislation, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. All time for general debate has expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule.
  In lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by 
the Committee on Energy and Commerce, printed in the bill, it shall be 
in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment 
under the 5-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 113-19. That amendment 
in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read.
  The text of the amendment in the nature of a substitute is as 
follows:

                               H.R. 1582

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[[Page H5247]]

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Energy Consumers Relief Act 
     of 2013''.

     SEC. 2. PROHIBITION AGAINST FINALIZING CERTAIN ENERGY-RELATED 
                   RULES THAT WILL CAUSE SIGNIFICANT ADVERSE 
                   EFFECTS TO THE ECONOMY.

       Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency may not 
     promulgate as final an energy-related rule that is estimated 
     to cost more than $1 billion if the Secretary of Energy 
     determines under section 3(3) that the rule will cause 
     significant adverse effects to the economy.

     SEC. 3. REPORTS AND DETERMINATIONS PRIOR TO PROMULGATING AS 
                   FINAL CERTAIN ENERGY-RELATED RULES.

       Before promulgating as final any energy-related rule that 
     is estimated to cost more than $1 billion:
       (1) Report to congress.--The Administrator of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency shall submit to Congress a 
     report (and transmit a copy to the Secretary of Energy) 
     containing--
       (A) a copy of the rule;
       (B) a concise general statement relating to the rule;
       (C) an estimate of the total costs of the rule, including 
     the direct costs and indirect costs of the rule;
       (D) an estimate of the total benefits of the rule, an 
     estimate of when such benefits are expected to be realized, 
     and a description of the modeling, the assumptions, and the 
     limitations due to uncertainty, speculation, or lack of 
     information associated with the estimates under this 
     subparagraph;
       (E) an estimate of the increases in energy prices, 
     including potential increases in gasoline or electricity 
     prices for consumers, that may result from implementation or 
     enforcement of the rule; and
       (F) a detailed description of the employment effects, 
     including potential job losses and shifts in employment, that 
     may result from implementation or enforcement of the rule.
       (2) Initial determination on increases and impacts.--The 
     Secretary of Energy, in consultation with the Federal Energy 
     Regulatory Commission and the Administrator of the Energy 
     Information Administration, shall prepare an independent 
     analysis to determine whether the rule will cause--
       (A) any increase in energy prices for consumers, including 
     low-income households, small businesses, and manufacturers;
       (B) any impact on fuel diversity of the Nation's 
     electricity generation portfolio or on national, regional, or 
     local electric reliability;
       (C) any adverse effect on energy supply, distribution, or 
     use due to the economic or technical infeasibility of 
     implementing the rule; or
       (D) any other adverse effect on energy supply, 
     distribution, or use (including a shortfall in supply and 
     increased use of foreign supplies).
       (3) Subsequent determination on adverse effects to the 
     economy.--If the Secretary of Energy determines, under 
     paragraph (2), that the rule will cause an increase, impact, 
     or effect described in such paragraph, then the Secretary, in 
     consultation with the Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary 
     of Labor, and the Administrator of the Small Business 
     Administration, shall--
       (A) determine whether the rule will cause significant 
     adverse effects to the economy, taking into consideration--
       (i) the costs and benefits of the rule and limitations in 
     calculating such costs and benefits due to uncertainty, 
     speculation, or lack of information; and
       (ii) the positive and negative impacts of the rule on 
     economic indicators, including those related to gross 
     domestic product, unemployment, wages, consumer prices, and 
     business and manufacturing activity; and
       (B) publish the results of such determination in the 
     Federal Register.

     SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

       In this Act:
       (1) The terms ``direct costs'' and ``indirect costs'' have 
     the meanings given such terms in chapter 8 of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency's ``Guidelines for Preparing 
     Economic Analyses'' dated December 17, 2010.
       (2) The term ``energy-related rule that is estimated to 
     cost more than $1 billion'' means a rule of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency that--
       (A) regulates any aspect of the production, supply, 
     distribution, or use of energy or provides for such 
     regulation by States or other governmental entities; and
       (B) is estimated by the Administrator of the Environmental 
     Protection Agency or the Director of the Office of Management 
     and Budget to impose direct costs and indirect costs, in the 
     aggregate, of more than $1,000,000,000.
       (3) The term ``rule'' has the meaning given to such term in 
     section 551 of title 5, United States Code.
  The CHAIR. No amendment to that amendment in the nature of a 
substitute shall be in order except those printed in part B of House 
Report 113-174. Each such amendment may be offered only in the order 
printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in 
the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time 
specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall 
not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


                 Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Waxman

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 printed in 
part B of House Report 113-174.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I have an amendment under the rule.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, lines 4 through 13, strike section 2.

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 315, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Waxman) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair and my colleagues and anybody listening to 
this debate, under this bill, if DOE determines that a rule by the 
Environmental Protection Agency would cause any significant adverse 
effects to the economy, EPA would be permanently blocked from 
finalizing that rule. That's a pretty broad assault on the rules that 
EPA might issue because EPA rules are to protect public health and the 
environment.
  So if this bill became law, a lot of clean air and clean water 
protections would be at risk, and the terms in the bill are so 
expansive and vague that nearly every major public health proposed rule 
could be delayed and would be affected because DOE is not going to do 
this extensive analysis.
  My amendment is straightforward. It eliminates the bizarre provision 
in this bill that gives the Secretary of Energy the unprecedented 
authority to effectively veto public health rules. It makes no sense 
for DOE to veto an EPA public health rule, especially since the veto 
would be based on DOE's analysis of the economic impact, which is by 
its terms a macroeconomic analysis.
  What is this going to do to the economy if this rule goes into 
effect? Did anybody ever think that the DOE does not do that kind of 
analysis? Perhaps they should have had the Department of the Treasury 
do a macroeconomic evaluation. They do things like that. But instead, 
the authors of this bill want DOE to do it. All right. It's outside of 
DOE's area of expertise. This, I think, would be a terrible precedent.
  Time and time again, Congress has turned to the EPA to trust the 
agency with the mission of protecting our air and our water from 
pollution. The Department of Energy should not have the power to veto 
the public health protections that Congress required in the Clean Air 
Act or the Clean Water Act or other bedrock environmental laws. The DOE 
veto is inconsistent with the stated purpose of this bill because the 
other side of this bill thinks DOE ought to do an independent analysis. 
We would concede it: let DOE do an independent analysis, but don't let 
it stop the rule from going into effect.
  EPA's analysis, before they issue their proposed regulation, goes 
through an interagency process, DOE can intervene, the Office of 
Management and Budget can review it and even hold up the regulation. So 
let the regulation go forward and let DOE do its additional analysis, 
but don't let that analysis lead to paralysis if we're talking about 
affecting the public health in this country.
  This amendment would stop the veto of an EPA regulation by DOE. It 
does not stop the Department of Energy from doing its analysis, but it 
would stop them from--while they're doing the analysis particularly--
holding up a regulation and then leaving it to them exclusively to 
decide that they're going to veto the regulation based on a different 
kind of analysis than one would expect, which is to look at the 
benefits, to look at the costs, and make sure those benefits are more 
of a benefit in dollars and cents even. Put a price on life. That's 
what we're talking about. Put a price on a kid's asthma. That's what 
we're talking about.

                              {time}  1930

  But EPA tries to do that analysis and has to show that its regulation 
is going to be more economically beneficial than the cost of the 
regulation. And of course you imagine when they look at costs and 
benefits, the costs are always overstated. I've seen that in all of the 
years I've been here, and I've been here for decades. The costs are 
always overstated by the polluting corporation that doesn't want to 
have to take the steps to reduce their pollution.
  EPA hears what they have to say, but they do their own analysis of 
the cost to do the regulation.
  So I would urge support for this amendment. Leave the bill if you 
want

[[Page H5248]]

it, but don't give that veto power to DOE.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I rise in opposition to the gentleman's 
amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. As the gentleman said, his amendment would, in effect, 
strike the provisions preventing EPA from finalizing rules that the 
Energy Secretary determined will cause significant adverse effects to 
the economy, and that's precisely why I respectfully oppose the 
gentleman's amendment.
  All of the debate this afternoon has focused on how EPA is focused 
totally on health benefits, and health benefits are vitally important. 
We recognize that.
  I think I also pointed out from experts that EPA makes mistakes in 
their benefit analysis, in their cost analysis when they look at costs. 
And so once again, what we're trying to do with the Cassidy bill is 
look at health, yes, but what is the impact on jobs. What is the impact 
on those families who lose a job because of the regulation? What is the 
impact on the children of the family who loses the job because of the 
regulation? What is the effect on their ability to provide the needs 
for their family, their health insurance, their food, and so forth?
  So all we're saying is that the Secretary of Energy in the same 
Cabinet as the administrator of the EPA would head up an analysis to 
review the EPA rule that exceeds $1 billion and affects energy alone. 
And if they decide that it will have significant adverse impact on the 
economy, then they can stop it. And by the way, under the legislation, 
EPA would also have to give a report to Congress on the impact on 
energy cost, how much will gasoline go up, electricity, how many jobs 
would be lost, how many jobs would be created.
  So when we have a struggling economy, the last thing we want to do is 
to create additional obstacles that really are not necessary at a time 
when you can do other things and protect health also.
  So with that, I would respectfully oppose the gentleman's amendment 
and ask that Members vote against the gentleman's amendment.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from California (Mr. Waxman).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. WAXMAN. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from California will be 
postponed.
  The Chair understands that amendment No. 2 will not be offered.


                Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Connolly

  The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 printed in 
part B of House Report 113-174.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 1, line 13, after ``effects to the economy.'' insert 
     ``This section shall not apply with respect to any rule that 
     relates to air quality or water quality.''

  The CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 315, the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Connolly) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. I thank the Chair, and at this time I am pleased to 
yield 2\1/2\ minutes to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Kildee), my 
co-author of this amendment.
  Mr. KILDEE. Madam Chair, I thank my friend, Mr. Connolly, for his 
leadership and for working on this amendment with me.
  I represent nearly 100 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. When I ran for 
Congress, I made a commitment to my constituents in the Fifth District 
that I would fight every day to create jobs, to strengthen the economy, 
and to protect our precious water resources. Our amendment would do 
just that.
  In Michigan, we know well the value of clean water since we're 
surrounded by the largest bodies of surface freshwater on Earth, the 
Great Lakes. As a kid, I spent many summer weekends with my family at a 
city campground in East Tawas, a lakefront city that I now have the 
privilege of representing in Congress.
  Our amendment would protect our precious waters from pollution. 
Without our amendment, today's legislation would put the safety of the 
Great Lakes, of our lakes and waterways in jeopardy. History has 
repeatedly taught us what polluters will do if left unregulated. We 
have seen disastrous oil spills--including the Enbridge oil spill in 
Michigan--that threatened our State and our Nation's natural resources.
  I will not sit idly by and allow the very rules that protect towns 
like East Tawas, Oscoda, Bay City, Au Gres, and other towns in my 
district be tossed aside for political expediency.
  This bill, as written, would give the Department of Energy 
unprecedented power to veto EPA rules that protect public health, save 
lives, and protect the Great Lakes. Our amendment would prevent the DOE 
from being able to veto rules that regulate air or water quality.
  I have heard a lot of discussion about jobs. Michigan's Great Lakes 
are an economic asset for my State, supporting 1.5 million jobs and 
pumping over $62 billion into our economy. These jobs and Michigan's 
recreational economy depend on clean water for fishing for swimming and 
for drinking. We must protect them from pollution and harm.
  Today's legislation is clearly misguided and fails to provide the 
necessary tools to protect our Nation's critical natural resources. 
Republicans in committee have already voted to decrease funding for the 
Great Lakes Restoration Initiative by almost 80 percent, something that 
I strongly oppose; and now they want to make it easier for polluters to 
poison our waters. I will fight these bad proposals every day I am in 
Congress.
  I urge my colleagues to support our commonsense amendment to protect 
the Great Lakes and protect our natural waterways.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. I rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment.
  The CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 minutes.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I would say, first of all, with all due 
respect, we have no intent to pollute additionally the waterways that 
the gentleman referred to in Michigan, and I rise to oppose his 
amendment simply because he would say that this legislation would not 
apply to any rule that relates to air quality or water quality. So this 
amendment would exclude virtually all EPA rules from the transparency 
and inner-agency review requirements of the act.
  I would just summarize, once again, we are talking about energy-
related rules that exceed $1 billion. We know that EPA looks closely at 
health benefits, health impacts; and we certainly favor that. But 
that's not the only thing that should be examined, and that's what this 
legislation is about. The Secretary of Energy, with other Cabinet 
officials in the Obama administration, would look at the impact of the 
regulation on the cost of electricity, the cost of gasoline, how many 
jobs might be lost, how many jobs might be created, would it have 
significant adverse impact to the economy as a whole.
  And I would think that everyone would say if it does, particularly 
with the slow economic growth we have today, the last 15 quarters have 
been the slowest since World War II, and the last quarter of 2012, the 
first quarter of 2013, the gross domestic product increased less than 2 
percent. So we need to pay special attention to the impact that 
regulations may have on creating job loss and the impact on those 
families that lose those jobs, and that's what the gentleman's 
legislation is all about.
  I know the gentleman rose with the very best intentions, but I would 
respectfully oppose this amendment and ask Members to defeat his 
amendment.
  With that, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Chair, I rise to join my colleague, Mr. Kildee 
from Michigan, in offering what I think is a commonsense amendment that 
protects public health and safety.
  I didn't think it was possible, Madam Chair, but this bill may 
actually be worse than the anti-regulatory legislation Republicans 
rammed through the last Congress. The House majority

[[Page H5249]]

calls this latest version the Energy Consumers Relief Act, an Orwellian 
name if there ever was one, deceptively titled as Congress heads for 
recess, but the title does not reflect reality. This bill more aptly 
might be called the Blocking Public Health Protections Act.
  Shamefully, this is yet another attempt by the majority to gut public 
health and safety protections so they can give more handouts to big 
energy producers, many of which of course have financed the majority in 
this House.
  Not only does this bill block or delay the EPA from finalizing rules, 
Madam Chairman, to reduce pollution that threatens the air we breathe 
and the water we drink. It also gives unprecedented power, as the 
distinguished ranking member of the committee pointed out, to the 
Department of Energy to veto EPA rules--nonsensical and a non sequitur 
if there ever was one.
  We know rules already in place, like the mercury and air toxic 
standards that effectively regulate carcinogens, neurotoxins, smog and 
soot pollution, prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths, 47 heart 
attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks every year. So I ask my colleagues: 
Why are we trying to prevent proven protections on public health?
  Our amendment will continue to put public health first by ensuring 
that EPA retains that authority to implement the vital safeguards that 
protect air and water quality that previous generations in this House 
on a bipartisan basis believed were necessary and important to protect 
the public we serve.
  I yield back the balance of my time.
  The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).
  The question was taken; and the Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Madam Chair, I demand a recorded vote.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on 
the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia will be postponed.
  Mr. WHITFIELD. Madam Chair, I move that the Committee do now rise.
  The motion was agreed to.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Lankford) having assumed the chair, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 1582) to 
protect consumers by prohibiting the Administrator of the Environmental 
Protection Agency from promulgating as final certain energy-related 
rules that are estimated to cost more than $1 billion and will cause 
significant adverse effects to the economy, had come to no resolution 
thereon.

                          ____________________