Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C.  —  Senator John Thune today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson urging the agency to not move forward with proposed regulations on the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses that would amount to a national energy tax. The tax would increase energy rates paid by consumers and could jeopardize jobs in South Dakota.

“The EPA’s decision to move forward with carbon dioxide regulation without Congressional action would result in crippling energy rate hikes on South Dakota consumers and would force businesses to cut jobs,” said Thune. “Bipartisan opposition to this proposal is growing in the Senate, in part because the American people understand what this kind of regulation would do to their energy bills, to their employers, and to businesses large and small across South Dakota, from dry cleaners to hospitals.”

Last month, EPA announced that the agency would delay the implementation of emissions permitting requirements for stationary sources until 2011. Senator Thune’s letter criticizes this delay as arbitrary and calls for abandoning the permitting regulations permanently.

Senator Thune is a cosponsor of a bipartisan resolution of disapproval (S.J.Res.26) that, if enacted, would stop the EPA from moving forward with their backdoor regulation of greenhouse gasses. This resolution is supported by several energy producers and agriculture groups in South Dakota and across the country.

The full text of Senator Thune’s letter follows:

March 16, 2010

The Honorable Lisa Jackson
Environmental Protection Agency
USEPA Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Administrator Jackson:

As you know there is significant bipartisan opposition in the Senate to cap-and-trade legislation that will destroy jobs, raise energy prices, disadvantage whole regions of the country such as the Midwest, do very little for the reducing greenhouse gases globally (without a firm and real cut in greenhouse gases from China, India and other countries) and greatly expand the regulatory reach of the federal bureaucracy.

There is similar bipartisan opposition to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implementing a backdoor cap on carbon emissions that will essentially function as a new energy tax and have the same drawbacks as cap-and-trade legislation. Moreover, as you and others have noted, EPA regulations could be even worse. In fact, one prominent Democrat colleague in the House said such regulations would be a “glorious mess.” That mess would impose burdensome permitting requirements on some six million employers according to EPA.

Three Democrat Senators have joined 38 Republican Senators in sponsoring a resolution to disapprove of the EPA regulations and that vote could come as soon as this month.
Having worked hard to protect my constituents from this looming disaster, I read with great interest your letter of February 22, 2010 to eight Democrat Senators wherein you announced that EPA plans to delay the implementation of permitting requirements for stationary sources until 2011. Of course, I welcome any delay in implementing the regulations since it will be nine more months of employment and lower energy prices for South Dakota families and businesses. At the same time, I am curious why the agency is delaying the implementation for only nine months instead of a longer time period as requested by state regulators? I also find it interesting that such a delay just would end after the upcoming elections.

In addition to announcing this arbitrary delay, you also made clear that EPA is more interested in promulgating a targeting rule (arranging the order in which you will target employers of various sizes) rather than a tailoring rule (exempting small entities from regulation in perpetuity). That targeting rule takes aim at small emitters like dry cleaners and hospitals in 2016. And many environmental lawyers predict that even if the Administration were to support a true tailoring rule, that rule would likely be overturned in court.

Because the Constitution gives the Congress the final say on what the law will be, I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to stop EPA’s backdoor regulation, which a clear majority of Senators agree is bad policy. Our clearest opportunity to do that is to vote for the Murkowski resolution. Any Senator who relies on the schedule EPA put forward in your letter dated February 22, 2010, as a reason to vote against the resolution is simply voting to allow EPA to inflict massive job losses and higher energy prices in 2011 instead of 2010. They are also endorsing the EPA plan to target employers, large and small, in due course.

Scheduling manufacturing job losses and higher energy prices for all Americans after the fall election and targeting small businesses and farms for after the next Presidential election may be politically convenient for some but it is American families that will ultimately pay the price. Instead of proceeding down a path of a command-and-control regulatory approach, I encourage EPA to work with the people’s representatives in Congress to formulate a common-sense energy bill that encourages diverse sources of energy and does not destroy jobs and raise prices for America’s families and businesses.


United States Senate