I often wonder if John Mica rummages around in old television shows looking for one liners. Introducing a bill to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory authority he said:
“EPA’s regulatory jihad is strangling our economy.”
In a press release from his office as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee, Mica said EPA “has progressively undermined the states’ shared authority in order to institute a one-size-fits-all regulatory regime.”
He said he expects the House to take up legislation that “reverses the erosion of states’ authority under a long-established partnership with the federal government to regulate the nation’s water quality. This effective partnership, set forth by the Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA), has become increasingly besieged by the EPA as that agency has progressively undermined the states’ shared authority in order to institute a one-size-fits-all regulatory regime.”
The legislative move is not a surprise; a number of people in Congress and in our industry have been aiming to shorten the leash on EPA’s power to get things done by regulation rather than legislation. Industry groups and lobbyists insist that EPA is a major factor in slowing down work and hiring, something echoed in statements by Mica’s co-sponsors today including the Committee’s ranking member Nick Rahall.
“Under the guise of ensuring clean water, the EPA’s regulatory pendulum has swung wildly to one side, knocking aside the long-standing cooperative relationships with the states and leaving affected workers teetering on the brink of unemployment,” said Rahall. “This bill would bring the federal water quality permitting process back to center and help to ensure a more stable, clear, and equitable national clean water program.”
Said Mica: “The agency’s overreaching approach is burdening our nation’s businesses and job creators, without providing a significant benefit to the environment. If the agency continues this aggressive campaign against common sense regulation, the most likely results will be higher costs to taxpayers and higher unemployment.”
To get a better idea of what’s going on and its immediate background, check this out on the Committee’s Website.