Chamber to fight EPA's GHG program, excessive financial reform

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Jan. 12 -- The US Chamber of Commerce will continue efforts to keep the US Environmental Protection Agency from implementing greenhouse gas emission regulations under the Clean Air Act, Chamber Pres. Thomas J. Donahue said in his annual State of American Business address. Chamber also plans to fight excessive financial reforms that would unduly restrict use of derivatives, he added.

The rules are part of a federal “regulatory tsunami” that poses the biggest single threat to jobs, US global competitiveness, and the future of American enterprise, Donahue maintained.

“At the federal level alone, regulations already fill 150,000 pages of fine-print text and cost Americans $1.7 trillion/year,” he said. “Many of these rules are necessary and business strongly supports them. Yet in recent years, we have seen an unprecedented explosion of new regulatory activity. Furthermore, the [Obama] administration is likely to turn increasingly to the regulatory agencies now that getting legislation out of Congress could be more difficult.”

Donahue said the nation’s largest business organization would go on fighting what it considers unilateral regulation of GHGs under the CAA, which EPA began to develop following a 2007 US Supreme Court ruling that it the federal agency has that authority. The regulations began to go into effect at the beginning of 2011 with a tailoring rule which initially targets refiners, chemical plants, and other major industrial facilities believed to be the largest GHG emitters.

The regulations, if unchecked, eventually could involve 6 million entities, including small businesses, hotels, warehouses, and churches, Donahue warned. “Before any of these facilities could build or expand, they would have to get preconstruction permits that take 6-9 months to obtain at a cost in excess of $100,000/permit,” he said. “Even then, the permits could be challenged in court. This could seriously disrupt construction activity across our nation and throw a lot of people out of work.”

He said Chamber would support bipartisan legislation that would delay or stop EPA’s current GHG program and return efforts to address global climate change to Congress.

Dodd-Frank reforms
Donahue said Chamber also is heavily involved in the regulatory rulemaking triggered by passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. He noted that the new law contains 259 mandated rulemakings, 188 suggested rulemakings, 63 reports, and 59 studies, adding, “My grandchildren will be old and retired before it is all implemented.”

“We are particularly concerned that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not use its broad authority in ways that deny small businesses and consumers the credit and financial products they need,” he said. “We want to make sure that Main Street end-users are still able to use derivatives in an effective way to manage their legitimate business risk—without sidelining billions of dollars in productive capital and costing tens of thousands of jobs.

“And although our pending litigation against the [US Securities and Exchange Commission] over its proxy access rule has delayed its implementation, that battle is far from over,” Donahue said. “We’ll continue to oppose proposals that would expand the ability of special interest shareholders such as unions to exploit proxy access rules to the detriment of companies, jobs, and all shareholders.”

He said Chamber would use a broad array of tools to address these and other regulations that it considers excessive, including efforts to limit funding and more applications of the Congressional Review Act. “Yet the time has come to reform the regulatory process itself—to restore some badly needed balance and accountability to the system. This could be done by giving Congress the right to vote up or down on major rules before they take effect, and by strengthening the burden of proof that all agencies would have to demonstrate in court when they are imposing major rules,” he suggested.

Donahue said new regulations also provide new opportunities for lawsuits. “The need for legal reform as well as courtroom advocacy on behalf of business will be greater than ever in the coming year and beyond,” he said. “Our Institute for Legal Reform and our law firm, the National Chamber Litigation Center, will therefore play a critical role in the Chamber’s ongoing program of work.”

Chamber also will form a new group of regulatory experts to tell policymakers, the media, and the public the story of massive impacts of regulations on business, he said.

Contact Nick Snow at

Related Articles

PHMSA proposes pipeline accident notification regulations

07/02/2015 The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has proposed new federal oil and gas pipeline accident and notification regulations. ...

FourPoint Energy to acquire Anadarko basin assets from Chesapeake

07/02/2015 FourPoint Energy LLC, a privately owned Denver company, plans to acquire oil and gas assets from Chesapeake Energy Corp. subsidiaries Chesapeake Ex...

Puma Energy completes purchase of Murco’s UK refinery, terminals

07/02/2015 Singapore-based Puma Energy Group Pte. has completed its purchase of UK midstream and downstream assets from Murco Petroleum Ltd., a subsidiary of ...

BP to settle federal, state Deepwater Horizon claims for $18.7 billion

07/02/2015 BP Exploration & Production Inc. has agreed in principle to settle all federal and state claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon inciden...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil prices plummet on crude inventory build, Iran deadline extension

07/02/2015 Oil prices plummeted more than $2/bbl July 1 to settle at a 2-month low on the New York market after a weekly government report showed the first ri...

API to issue recommended practice to address pipeline safety

07/01/2015 The American Petroleum Institute expects to issue a new recommended practice in another few weeks that addresses pipeline safety issues, but the tr...

Shell Midstream Partners takes interest in Poseidon oil pipeline

07/01/2015 Shell Midstream Partners LP has completed its acquisition of 36% equity interest in Poseidon Oil Pipeline Co. LLC from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a s...

MARKET WATCH: Oil prices decline as US crude inventories post first gain in 9 weeks

07/01/2015 Oil prices on July 1 surrendered much of their gains from the day before after the release of a government report showing the first rise in US crud...

FWS issues Shell letter of authorization on Chukchi Sea lease

07/01/2015 The US Fish & Wildlife Service issued Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. a letter of authorization (LOA) related to the potential disturbance of polar b...
White Papers

Definitive Guide to Cybersecurity for the Oil & Gas Industry

In the Oil and Gas industry, there is no single adversary and no single threat to the information tech...

UAS Integration for Infrastructure: More than Just Flying

Oil and gas companies recognize the benefits that the use of drones or unmanned aerial systems (UAS) c...

Solutions to Financial Distress Resulting from a Weak Oil and Gas Price Environment

The oil and gas industry is in the midst of a prolonged worldwide downturn in commodity prices. While ...
Sponsored by

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

Operating a Sustainable Oil & Gas Supply Chain in North America

When Tue, Oct 20, 2015

Short lead times and unpredictable conditions in the Oil & Gas industry can create costly challenges in supply chains. By implementing a LEAN culture of continuous improvement you can eliminate waste, increase productivity and gain end-to-end visibility leading to a sustainable and well-oiled supply chain.

Please join us for this webcast sponsored by Ryder System, Inc.


On Demand

Leveraging technology to improve safety & reliability

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

Attend this informative webinar to learn more about how to leverage technology to meet the new OSHA standards and protect your employees from the hazards of arc flash explosions.


The Resilient Oilfield in the Internet of Things World

Tue, Sep 22, 2015

As we hear about the hype surrounding the Internet of Things, the oil and gas industry is questioning what is different than what is already being done. What is new?  Using sensors and connecting devices is nothing new to our mode of business and in many ways the industry exemplifies many principles of an industrial internet of things. How does the Internet of Things impact the oil and gas industry?

Prolific instrumentation and automation digitized the industry and has changed the approach to business models calling for a systems led approach.  Resilient Systems have the ability to adapt to changing circumstances while maintaining their central purpose.  A resilient system, such as Maximo, allows an asset intensive organization to leverage connected devices by merging real-time asset information with other critical asset information and using that information to create a more agile organization.  

Join this webcast, sponsored by IBM, to learn how about Internet of Things capabilities and resilient systems are impacting the landscape of the oil and gas industry.


Taking the Headache out of Fuel License and Exemption Certificates: How to Ensure Compliance

Tue, Aug 25, 2015

This webinar, brought to you by Avalara, will detail the challenges of tax document management, as well as recommend solutions for fuel suppliers. You will learn:

-    Why it’s critical to track business partner licenses and exemption documents
-    The four key business challenges of ensuring tax compliance through document management
-    Best practice business processes to minimize exposure to tax errors


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!


Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected