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 nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

Chinese regulators approve Sinopec’s plan for grassroots refinery

02/06/2015 China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has approved Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Petrochemical Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China Nation...

BOEM schedules public meetings about draft proposed 5-year OCS plan

02/06/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold the first of 20 public meetings in Washington on Feb. 9 to receive public comments on potential ...

Congressional Republicans renew bid to halt sue-and-settle maneuvers

02/05/2015 Calling it an affront to regulatory accountability that results in unchecked compliance burdens, US Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and US Rep. D...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

Goodlatte reintroduces bills to repeal, reform RFS

02/05/2015 Calling it “a true ‘kitchen table’ issue,” US Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) reintroduced a pair of bills to address problems in the federal Renewable ...

Alberta’s premier seeks more North American energy integration

02/05/2015 Better policy integration and cooperation will be needed for Canada, Mexico, and the US to fully realize the North American energy renaissance’s po...

Oil, gas infrastructure investments essential, House panel told

02/04/2015 Investments in oil and gas transportation and storage should move ahead because they are essential in continuing the US economic recovery and North...

EPA suggests DOS reconsider Keystone XL climate impact conclusions

02/03/2015 The US Department of State might want to reconsider its conclusions regarding potential climate impacts from the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pip...

Obama’s proposed fiscal 2016 budget recycles oil tax increases

02/02/2015 US President Barack Obama has proposed his federal budget for fiscal 2016 that he said was designed to help a beleaguered middle class take advanta...

White Papers

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

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...

Accurate Thermo-Fluid Simulation in Real Time Environments

The crux of any task undertaken in System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis is striking a balance between ti...

6 ways for Energy, Chemical and Oil and Gas Companies to Avert the Impending Workforce Crisis

As many as half of the skilled workers in energy, chemical and oil & gas industries are quickly he...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realties

When Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

When Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

The Future of US Refining

Fri, Feb 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Feb. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on the future of US refining as various forces this year conspire to pull the industry in different directions. Lower oil prices generally reduce feedstock costs, but they have also lowered refiners’ returns, as 2015 begins with refined products priced at lows not seen in years. If lower per-barrel crude prices dampen production of lighter crudes among shale plays, what will happen to refiners’ plans to export more barrels of lighter crudes? And as always, refiners will be affected by government regulations, particularly those that suppress demand, increase costs, or limit access to markets or supply.

register:WEBCAST


Oil & Gas Journal’s Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015

Fri, Jan 30, 2015

The  Forecast & Review/Worldwide Pipeline Construction 2015 Webcast will address Oil & Gas Journal’s outlooks for the oil market and pipeline construction in a year of turbulence. Based on two annual special reports, the webcast will be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and OGJ Managing Editor-Technology Chris Smith.
The Forecast & Review portion of the webcast will identify forces underlying the collapse in crude oil prices and assess prospects for changes essential to recovery—all in the context of geopolitical pressures buffeting the market.

register:WEBCAST


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