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Thune Sends Letter to President Calling for Moratorium on Job-Destroying EPA Regulations

Says if president is sincere about job creation, he’ll halt overreaching regulations

September 9, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Following President Barack Obama's joint address to Congress last night, Senator John Thune today sent a letter to the president calling on him to issue an immediate moratorium on overreaching regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which are hampering job creation and economic growth.

With 14 million Americans currently unemployed, Thune is calling on the president to delay implementation of over 40 major regulatory actions proposed by the EPA until the economy improves and the national unemployment rate falls.

The full text of Thune's letter is included below.

September 9, 2011

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I write to convey my continued concern with our nation's stalled economic recovery and record high unemployment.  While I appreciated your speech last night, which laid out your plan to restart the economy, I believe there is more you can do that would have an instant and positive impact on the nation's economic future. 

Specifically, I am concerned about many of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new and proposed rules that will hamper growth, make us more reliant on foreign sources of energy, and have significant and sustained negative implications on the nation's economic future.  Your decision last week to delay EPA's discretionary, job-killing ozone standard was certainly a step in the right direction.  Moreover, I welcome your efforts to look at all government regulations that may be hindering job growth.  However, if you are sincere about job creation for America, I urge you to take another step forward and consider an immediate moratorium on other similar proposed regulatory actions.  With the economy adding no new net jobs in August, it is essential for your administration to focus on reducing regulatory uncertainty for our country's employers and industries. 

With over 40 major regulatory actions that are considered harmful to agriculture and the current U.S. business climate, EPA actions are often listed as the top concern within the agriculture and business communities.  Regulations, such as Boiler MACT, Utility MACT, cross-state air pollution rule, reclassifying coal ash, new source performance standards for utilities and refineries, farm dust regulations, and greenhouse gas emission regulations under the Clean Air Act are costing our nation jobs and economic growth at a time we can least afford it.  EPA's greenhouse gas regulations alone are projected to cost over one million jobs by 2014.  Similar to your decision on the ozone rule, these regulations should at a minimum be delayed until our economy improves and the unemployment rate falls.

In June, while speaking to a group of factory workers, you emphasized that America must bring back a strong manufacturing industry for long-term economic growth and the importance of keeping the middle class strong and stable.  I agree that manufacturing jobs provide promising rewards for many Americans, and I hope you will recognize policy decisions within your administration are causing job losses in this very sector.

I support efforts for a clean and healthy environment, but the benefits of additional regulations should clearly outweigh the cumulative economic costs associated with the EPA's regulatory agenda.  I would suggest that you, through an Executive Order, delay these costly and unreasonable EPA regulations for at least two years.  It is nonsensical to call for new "investment" in manufacturing and other industries while at the same time burdening the companies with compliance regulations that are costly and often unattainable with today's technology.  I urge you to consider delaying these costly regulations so our nation's businessmen and women can create jobs and put America back to work.


United States Senate