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Letter of Support for Rep. Cassidy's Energy Consumers Relief Act, H.R. 1582

July 16, 2013 J

Dear Representative Bill Cassidy:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I applaud you for introducing the Energy Consumers Relief Act, H.R. 1582, which would require the EPA to submit a report to Congress on the economic impact of proposed rules whose projected cost exceeds $1 billion. This would bring much-needed transparency and accountability to the rule-making process.

Your legislation would require federal regulators to investigate the costs and benefits of a proposed rule before it’s finalized, notably the effects on consumer energy prices and job losses. Major EPA regulations should not be made in haste, nor in secret; their economic impacts should be studied thoroughly and publicly before they become final.

Throughout the course of the Obama Administration, we’ve seen the EPA come out with overly-broad, politically-motivated environmental regulations that have crippling effects on the economy. Last year’s Utility MACT rule on power plant emissions is a prime case in point—EPA finalized the most expensive regulation in U.S. history without Congressional review, causing power plants to close and energy prices to rise an average of 12 percent nationwide. Judging from President Obama’s recent speech in which he previewed stricter emissions rules, the administration shows no signs of stopping.

Your legislation would also improve checks and balances in the rule-making process by restoring Congress’s proper role as reviewer. Elected officials should be making the final decision on rules of this magnitude because they ultimately answer to their constituencies; EPA bureaucrats are unelected and therefore unaccountable for the consequences of the rules they propose, no matter how destructive to Americans’ standard of living they may be.

If the EPA has free rein in making rules, then American families and businesses will face higher electricity prices, lower energy reliability, and further job losses. Americans for Prosperity is proud to support H.R. 1582. I urge your colleagues to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.

Sincerely,

Christine Harbin Hanson
Policy Analyst
Americans for Prosperity

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