Congress is currently on break, but the House and Senate return next week where the Senate will pick up where it left off on small business legislation. There are several key amendments to the legislation that SBE Council is weighing in on, one of which is the McConnell amendment that would nullify EPA’s intrusive greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations. SBE Council is strongly supporting the McConnell amendment and will KEY VOTE the amendment next week as a vote for small business for our forthcoming Ratings of the 112th Congress.
The EPA regulations will have a significant impact on businesses, driving energy costs higher. Various studies have found EPA’s GHG regulations could destroy 800,000 to 7 million jobs over the next several decades. As SBE Council has told Congress on many occasions, unelected bureaucrats should not be determining the fate of our economy, and EPA does not have the authority to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act.
In a March 16 media release, SBE Council President Karen Kerrigan said American businesses must be given “a fighting chance to stage an economic recovery and compete in the global economy.” Higher energy costs will not allow firms to fully rebound. “We must remove uncertainties and burdens in order to spark needed investment, and the vote on the McConnell amendment offers the opportunity to take a major step in the right direction,” she added.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has offered an amendment to delay implementation of the EPA rules for two years, which will also be voted upon. The delay only creates additional uncertainties for businesses of all sizes. With a delay, we anticipate that businesses will start preparing for eventual implementation of the costly EPA rules, which means less investment, less job growth and more businesses looking overseas to expand. A mere delay of the regulations does nothing to address the core problems – higher energy costs and the fact that the EPA does not have the authority to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act.
Only a vote for the McConnell amendment will protect small business!
In another piece of related news, the SBEC came out in support of Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 910).
As stated in a letter to both houses of Congress, “If this regulatory initiative moves forward, energy prices will continue to move higher undermining U.S. economic strength and competitiveness. Small businesses will be disproportionately impacted by EPA’s regulation, as our ability to create jobs and compete will be permanently impaired.”