Sullivan wins passage of regulatory relief bill

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Yesterday, Tulsa Congressman John Sullivan's bill to provide regulatory relief to the American cement industry, HR 2681, passed by a vote of 262-161. According to an email from Sullivan, the bill "puts the brakes on a costly, overbearing EPA rule that threatens to shut 20% of the U.S. cement manufacturing industry. This rule, refered to as the 'Cement MACT' rule could end up costing us nearly 20,000 private sector jobs and would drive up the cost of cement and construction projects around the country."

To underscore the significance of the bill, the free-market grassroots group FreedomWorks made it a "key vote," a vote included in its rating of each congressman's commitment to economic liberty. FreedomWorks president Matt Kibbe explains the impact of the Cement MACT rule and why Sullivan's bill matters:

The EPA itself admits that current cement regulations would raise the price of the most common type of cement. The agency predicts that cement prices would go up by 5.4 percent. The rules require that the producers of Portland cement invest in expensive new equipment to comply with the new standards. The compliance cost of these new cement regulations over the next four years will total $5.4 billion. Increased compliance costs will ultimately be passed onto consumers in the form of higher prices. We will all be paying higher prices for cement as a result of these needless regulations.

The cement industry estimates that the rule could destroy as many as 4,000 jobs. It could cut domestic cement manufacturing capacities by 20 percent over the next two years. Portland Cement Association President Aris Papadopoulos says that, "shortages and price volatility will become more common" once these regulations are implemented. In addition to destroying jobs in the cement industry, the regulation is expected to cost 12,000 to 19,000 jobs construction jobs due to higher construction costs. We must prohibit the cement MACT rule to save jobs and prevent the increase of cement prices.

Americans for Prosperity issued a letter of support for Sullivan's bill, noting many of the same points (with links to backup material for the numbers cited):

For weeks the President has lectured us that the government needs to help "put people to work rebuilding America" - destroying jobs and hiking up construction costs through poorly-contrived regulation is no way to start. Your bill provides relief from these rules: giving EPA fifteen months to re-propose and finalize more prudent standards, extending compliance deadlines to give cement plants adequate time to adapt once the rules do take effect, and ensuring that EPA chooses the "least burdensome" and most economical regulatory alternative.

Here's Sullivan's speech on the floor of the House during debate on the bill.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on October 7, 2011 12:52 AM.

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