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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: EPA Finalizes Benefit-Cost Analyses Procedures to Increase Consistency, Honest Accounting in Future Clean Air Act Rulemakings

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WASHINGTON (December 10, 2020) — At a virtual event with the Heritage Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the finalization of a rule to improve the rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act by establishing requirements to ensure that high-quality analyses of benefits and costs are developed for all significant Clean Air Act rules, and considered to the extent allowed by law. This rule will help ensure that Clean Air Act rules are analyzed consistently, transparently, and appropriately. It also outlines best-practice procedures for assessing benefits and costs when developing regulatory actions. This procedural rule will provide clarity for states, local communities, industry, and other stakeholders regarding EPA’s rulemaking considerations.

Here’s what stakeholders and elected officials are saying:


Senator James Lankford (OK): “Oklahomans can often feel the direct impact that federal regulations have on their families and businesses, but frequently the basis for those regulations is unclear. I applaud the EPA for finalizing a rule that provides clarity and consistency in the rulemaking process to ensure Americans have the transparency and voice they need in federal rules. This rule reminds everyone at the EPA that we are still a government by and for the people. Other agencies should follow the EPA’s example and issue rules requiring the highest quality of analysis in the rulemaking process.”


House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (KY-01):
“Thanks to the great leadership of President Trump and Administrator Wheeler, future significant rulemakings under the Clean Air Act will now come with much needed transparency, accountability, and common sense. Americans deserve to fully understand the costs and benefits of any regulatory action taken by the federal government. Administrator Wheeler and the EPA should be commended for solidifying a transparent and fair process for local communities, states, industry, and the American people. Under the Trump Administration’s leadership, we have proven to the world that the United States can continue to be a world leader in growing our economy while simultaneously improving our air quality.”

House Committee on Oversight and Reform Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member Mark Green (TN-07): “From day one of his Administration, President Trump has been a champion of cutting regulations and red tape, and I applaud this move by President Trump and Administrator Wheeler to create a more fair and transparent process at the Environmental Protection Agency. The federal government owes the American people full transparency when developing rules that impact lives and livelihoods. With this action, the EPA will be required to analyze the costs and benefits of its rulemakings under the Clean Air Act and share that analysis with the communities and industries impacted by its decisions.”

Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05): “Arizona is one of the most impacted states from costly Clean Air Act regulations. Today’s announcement ensures a transparent and consistent cost benefit analysis on regulations that hurt many of my constituents. I applaud President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for continuing to implement a strong regulatory reform agenda at the EPA.”


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Energy Institute Vice President of Enviromnental and Regulatory Affairs Chad Whiteman:
“Providing greater consistency and transparency in the cost-benefit analysis process is fundamental to improving agency decision-making. Open and collaborative processes that clearly explain the assumptions and scientific information driving EPA’s decisions will improve the integrity of the rulemaking process and lead to better public policy. Businesses are working to continue improving America’s air quality in partnership with EPA.”

National Association of Manufacturers Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Rachel Jones: “Our goal at the National Association of Manufacturers is to make our environment and our communities better. The agency’s strengthening of the cost-benefit analysis process will provide clarity and transparency for the American people. This initiative will allow the EPA to get regulations done right the first time.”

Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce President Gene Barr: “With respect to costs and benefits, for too long the agency has been inconsistent in how benefits were calculated when new, sweeping rules were being developed. We raised this issue in Congressional testimony and throughout the comment process. The regulated community and the public are not served if they are unable to examine the underlying science used in carrying out one of the nation’s bedrock environmental statutes, the Clean Air Act. With Pennsylvania’s economy relying on the success of its manufacturing, logistics and energy sectors – all of which have significant compliance obligations under the Act and all of which have worked tremendously hard to reduce emissions and increase sustainability – these rules help move our economy forward while protecting the environment.”

American Chemistry Council: “We welcome EPA’s final rule. Ensuring a clear, consistent and correct appraisal of benefits and costs in the regulatory process is a commonsense idea with bipartisan support over four decades. The ‘good government’ reforms included in the rule will improve decision-making as to where to allocate resources while supporting capital investment that drives economic growth.”

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