BCA's Washington Briefing

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on youtube July 10, 2015



Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Regina A. McCarthy told Congress Thursday that she rejects the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last month against a major EPA regulation. 

"Last week's ruling will not affect our efforts," McCarthy said told the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. "We are still on track to produce that plan this summer." 

McCarthy said the Obama administration's environmental agenda will go forward despite a Supreme Court ruling against the EPA's carbon dioxide regulation, a regulation which will cost businesses and consumers billions of dollars but which she considers legal. 

McCarthy characterized the June 29 ruling in Michigan v. EPA as "very narrow" and said it will have no bearing on the administration's carbon dioxide rules for power plants or other regulations. She testified at a House committee hearing on "Examining EPA's Regulatory Overreach." 

On the day she defended her legally flawed interpretation of the Clean Air Act, National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg said, "It is time for Congress to take a serious look at modernizing the Clean Air Act." 

The court 5-4 said that although the EPA considered the costs of its 2011 regulation limiting mercury and air toxics emissions from power plants, it should have considered costs before even endeavoring on the regulatory process. 

The decision did not overturn the MATS rule, which is still in effect while the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit considers how to enforce the Supreme Court's mandate, The Hill reported. 

"EPA is still committed to finalizing the Clean Power Plan," she said at an event hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. "So making a connection between the mercury and air toxics standards decision and the Clean Power Plan is comparing apples and oranges." 

McCarthy said she could not guess how the D.C. Circuit Court would proceed, but she is confident that the rule will continue to stand. Business Council of Alabama president and CEO William J. Canary issued a statement last year in response to the EPA's proposed standard for existing power plants. 

"This Administration has set its sights on the coal industry and the jobs it creates," Canary said. "It couldn't get Congress to go along with this job-killing plan, so now the EPA has chosen to skirt Congress and act through regulation. Here in Alabama, we'll all be paying much, much more for electricity." 

BCA Environmental Committee member Trey Glenn, who formerly served as director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, testified at an EPA hearing on the proposed regulations last year

Eisenberg wrote that the Administration is applying the Clean Air Act in such a way that it leaves states with a diminished role in what is supposed to be a cooperative federalism system, increasing costs and leaving manufacturers and other regulated sectors waiting years for courts to resolve overreaching regulations.

"As manufacturers await final rules on ozone and greenhouse gases-regulations where costs reach into the trillions of dollars and millions of jobs are put at risk-we implore members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to work together toward a more modern federal air regulatory system," he said. 



The charter of the Export-Import Bank of the United States expired June 30 and it's hurting many businesses especially the smaller ones.


"This is devastating to small exporters and entrepreneurs looking to expand their businesses to international markets," John Arensmeyer, president of the advocacy group Small Business Majority, wrote in a recent letter to the editor published by The Washington Post.


He wrote that nearly 90 percent of Ex-Im's transactions in 2014 helped U.S. small businesses.


Arensmeyer responded to Post-referenced statistics showing that Ex-Im loans support $27.5 billion in exports and 164,000 American jobs (other estimates put those totals even higher).


Without it, our country stands to lose a large share of that business to foreign competitors, and by extension, we stand to lose any number of those hundreds of thousands of jobs, too, he said.


"The Export-Import Bank provides an important resource to small businesses by filling in the gaps in traditional financing and partnering with private-sector lenders to provide loans and credit that help foreign purchasers buy U.S.-made goods," Arensmeyer said later. "The bank also offers credit insurance to cover nonpayment from foreign buyers. Many small businesses rely on the bank."


There's movement in Congress to reconsider the bank's charter later this month, a move supported by the BCA.

"Ninety-eight percent of the United States' almost 300,000 exporters are small and medium-size businesses," Arensmeyer said. "Lawmakers should reauthorize the Export-Import Bank's charter now to ensure that our nation's small exporters have the tools they need to thrive."



Job Seekers Dropping Out Accounts for Totals

Washington Post (Jayakumar 7/2) "Small businesses added 120,000 jobs in June, which was a slight drop from the previous month but another strong showing from Main Street, according to the monthly report by payroll processing firm ADP. Nationwide, government data released (July 2) showed that the economy added 223,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in seven years, but analysts said the falling rate likely reflected an exodus of workers from the job market rather than strength in the economy.

"In contrast, small business hiring remains a bright spot, said Ahu Yildirmaz, head of the ADP Research Institute. That's because some of the factors affecting large employers - such as shifts in global trade and weakness in the energy sector - are not as much of a concern to smaller firms, according to Yildirmaz. Companies with fewer than 50 employees accounted for the bulk of the job creation. Those that provide services added 108,000 jobs in June, while goods-producing companies such as construction and manufacturing firms added 12,00 jobs."

US Chamber of Commerce   National Association of Manufacturers
Sixth District
 U. S. Rep. Gary Palmer