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Rep. Wagner Introduces EPA Regulatory Benefit Act

Jul 13, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) last week introduced legislation that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to provide domestic cost-benefit analysis before issuing rules and regulations. The EPA Regulatory Domestic Benefit Act, H.R. 3015, holds the EPA accountable to reflect the true benefits and costs, as well as real negative impacts of its regulations on the American people.

“Overzealous bureaucrats in the Obama Administration have far too long made rulings and regulations without considering their impact on the American people, and recently the Supreme Court ruled the EPA must consider costs before adopting regulations,” Rep. Wagner said. “By requiring transparency through analysis, we are holding the EPA accountable for any regulation they consider, that it is first and foremost for the benefit of American consumers and businesses.”

EPA bill signing
Rep. Wagner signs the EPA Regulatory Domestic Benefit Act before introducing it in the U.S. House of Representatives.


The Problem:

  • In June 2014, EPA issued a proposal for regulations that would affect greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
  • The rule’s impact analysis states that the regulation will offer $30 billion in climate benefits by 2030 with only $7.3 billion in costs. However, the analysis estimates benefits on a global scale, while costs are estimated on a domestic level.
    • This goes against standard government analysis, previous executive orders, and Office of Management and Budget guidance by using a worldwide benefits reference point rather than a U.S. reference point and doesn’t allow a proper or accurate cost-benefit comparison.
    • Not only does EPA not base its rulemaking on domestic benefits, but it doesn’t even report the value of the domestic benefits of the rule in its analysis.
  • A Brookings Institution white paper estimates that if EPA examined the costs and benefits of the rule only on a domestic basis, then the climate benefits would fall to as little as 7% of what EPA estimates, much less than the proposed regulation’s costs.
    • EPA defines “climate benefits” as net changes in agricultural productivity, property damage from increased flood risk, and changes in energy system costs.

The Solution:

  • The EPA Regulatory Domestic Benefit Act would require EPA to reconsider any regulation that addresses emissions of carbon dioxide from any existing or new source electric utility generating unit in order to more accurately reflect benefits to the American people.
  • Additionally, in coming up with any future rulemakings in regulating emissions of carbon dioxide, EPA would be required to “primarily consider” the domestic benefits of the rule in comparison to domestic costs, in order to align EPA’s regulatory priorities with a standard regulatory impact analysis.
  • By holding EPA accountable to reflecting the true benefits and costs of its rules to the American people, the real negative impacts of these harmful regulations will begin to be revealed to American consumers and businesses and EPA will have to consider new regulations based on how it will primarily affect the US people and economy.