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Late last year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the first steps toward a national energy tax by writing anti-growth regulations that make carbon dioxide – something that is necessary to sustain life on earth – a regulated pollutant under the Clean Air Act. This backdoor attempt to institute a national energy tax will stifle economic growth and kill jobs, especially in the manufacturing, transportation, energy, and agricultural sectors. Now more than ever, with the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent and 15 million Americans looking for work, these harmful rules must be stopped.
The EPA’s regulations represent a clear and present danger to our economy and to all of our efforts to provide the conditions for job growth and prosperity. These new regulations will cost hundreds of billions of dollars to implement and would ultimately affect millions of small sources of emissions such as hotels, hospitals, churches, farms, office buildings, restaurants, and other small businesses. These rules will inject uncertainty into the economy, delay or halt new construction, and deter investment. Citing the negative impact to their states, these regulations are strongly opposed by several States' Governors, Attorneys General, environmental agencies, and agricultural agencies.
The unelected bureaucrats at the EPA should not be creating national energy policy for our country and so I have joined with Republicans and Democrats in both the House and Senate in supporting legislation which would prevent the implementation of these job-killing regulations posed by the EPA.
Instead of passing regulations which will simply raise energy costs and ship jobs overseas, our nation needs an "all of the above" solution to cleaning up the environment, lowering energy costs, and creating more American jobs. We need comprehensive energy legislation which reduces our dangerous dependence on foreign energy and puts millions of Americans to work. We must encourage innovation within the energy market to create the renewable fuel options and energy careers of tomorrow, promote greater conservation and efficiency by providing incentives for easing energy demand and creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment and increase the production of American energy by responsibly utilizing all available resources and technologies and streamlining burdensome regulations.
America's economy is intrinsically linked to the availability and affordability of energy. During this economic slow-down we should be adopting policies that seek to rebuild our economy and create more jobs; we need reliable and affordable energy supplies. Unfortunately, the new regulations the EPA is pushing would only further cripple our economy. Instead of government mandates and bureaucracy we should focus on policies that support technological advances and consumer choices. The bottom line is that we need policies which encourage investment in environmentally sound, cost-effective practices without stifling innovation and setting our economy further back.
To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at www.goodlatte.house.gov.