McMorris Rodgers Warns of EPA’s Spending Surge While Americans Pay for Record Inflation

Washington, D.C. — Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) delivered opening remarks at today’s Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) FY24 budget. 

The hearing focused on how the agency is using resources to advance President Biden’s climate agenda, which is jeopardizing energy grid reliability, raising energy costs, limiting manufacturing capacity, hurting innovation, and making the United States more dependent on China.

Excerpts and highlights from her remarks below:

HAVING ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE EPA

“Administrator Regan, I appreciate you being here today.

“Our visions for the EPA should be aligned.

“America has some of the highest labor and environmental standards in the world.

“Energy and Commerce Republicans want to continue this legacy and ensure cleaner air, cleaner water, and reduced emissions.

“Achieving this requires stewardship over how American tax dollars are spent.

“Unfortunately, that is not what we’ve seen from your agency as it implements President Bidens’ so-called climate agenda that is raising prices on low- and middle- income families, seeking control of the cars we drive, and making America reliant on Chinese supply chains that are dirtier and use slave labor.”

HISTORIC SPENDING AT EPA WHILE PEOPLE PAY FOR RECORD-HIGH INFLATION

“Since President Biden took office, the EPA has been injected with more than $100 billion taxpayer dollars—on top of its annual appropriations funding.

“This is a jaw-dropping 1,000 percent increase in its spending while the American people are already paying for record-high inflation.

“That increase is on top of $60.9 billion in the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act and the $41.5 billion In the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The EPA does not need this surge in spending.”

EPA REGULATIONS HURT AMERICANS

“Its regulatory agenda is completely out of touch with the needs of the American people.

“Last week, the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan listed 151 separate rulemakings pending from EPA.

“This list contained some of the most aggressive ‘rush-to-green’ mandates, to shortening public comment periods and introducing regulatory changes that lack the analysis to justify them.

“These actions place substantial financial burdens on Americans that will lower their standard of living from blackouts in California to seasonal energy shortages in New England and the Midwest.

“The pain is being felt by people across the country.

“These impractical, expensive standards will eliminate good paying jobs, destroy our manufacturing base and domestic supply chains, and threaten America’s leadership in key industries that have historically been critical to our efforts to reduce emissions.

“For instance, a recent economic impact report by the National Association of Manufacturers found that the EPA’s proposed air quality regulations for particulate matter will jeopardize more than 850,000 manufacturing jobs and $162.4 billion in economic activity.

“This would be on top of other EPA enacted policies that step outside of its congressionally mandated authority to regulate nearly every part of our economy.

“The Supreme Court ruled last year in West Virginia v. EPA that the EPA was exceeding its statutory authorities.

“While I am glad the Court acted to rein in EPA’s overreach in regulating GHG emissions, I am concerned about additional abuses of power by the administration and will be watching closely to ensure the EPA does not continue to exceed the authority delegated to it by Congress.”

REGULATORY HARM IN WASHINGTON STATE

“Finally, I want to highlight the EPA’s role in reviewing and approving human health water quality criteria.

“In December, the EPA set an unattainable PCB standard for human health water quality criteria in Washington State.

“Not only is this standard unattainable with current technology, it is not even detectable using EPA’s approved test methods.

“Even more troubling, it appears that the Washington Department of Ecology is using an unapproved test method to determine whether job creators in Washington are in compliance with this unattainable standard.

“Let me be clear—I want clean and safe water in Washington.

“I also want regulations to be based on sound science and have predictability for the businesses in my community, such as recycling plants, manufacturing companies, and local farmers.

“These industries support the community. Many of them are small and locally owned.

“I will have questions for you about this matter and hope we can get more reasonable treatment from EPA.”

THE FREEDOM TO BUILD A BETTER LIFE

“I’ll close by making this appeal to you, Administrator Regan.

“The concerns we raise today are directly from the people we serve who are deeply concerned about the EPA’s regulatory agenda encroaching on their way of life and the futures they want to build.

“The EPA must be accountable to them so people can trust their lights will come on, they can afford their energy bills and the cars they drive, and have the freedom to build a better life and make the best decisions for themselves and their families.

“I look forward to our discussion.”

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