While Congress continues to debate legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide) that may cause climate change the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing forward with its own regulations under the Clean Air Act to pressure Congress to act. Senator Murkowski has offered a bipartisan resolution that would stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and AGC of America urges its members to contact their Senators requesting they support it (see Legislative Action Center information below).
Reasons to Support the Murkowski Amendment:
- Even the U.S. EPA says that the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool to regulate green house gas emissions. EPA has finalized first-ever federal standards to regulate vehicle emissions under the Clean Air Act. This action triggers more regulation under the Clean Air Act that will have serious consequences for the construction industry.
- EPA regulation under the Clean Air Act will lead to more pre-construction permits operating permits and costly technology control installation requirements for building projects and will put regulatory approval and federal funding for highway and bridge projects at risk—some of which actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions through improved energy efficiency and reduced traffic congestion. It also means higher energy prices for businesses and consumers that will affect demand for construction services nationwide especially in a down economy.
- EPA’s “Tailoring Rule” only delays Clean Air Act regulation of small businesses and is EPA’s own admission that the Clean Air Act is ill-suited to address greenhouse gas emissions. Even with the rule more and more construction projects in America will eventually require Clean Air Act permits making it even harder to build the things that will actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- This new regulatory scheme couldn’t come at a worse time. As the economy struggles to recover from the recession the construction industry is still fighting its way out of a depression. More than two million construction workers have lost their jobs and the industry has hit 21.8 percent unemployment. The economy is just too fragile to handle a new staggeringly complex set of job-killing regulations.
For more information click here. AGC has also prepared a document Top Ten Things Contractors Need to Know about Climate Change.
Use the tools on the AGC Legislative Action Center to write your Senators or to call their offices in support of Senator Murkowski’s resolution. You can either send a letter by clicking here or call the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senators’ offices.