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August 2, 2013

Energy Consumers Relief Act Passes House

On August 1, 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives voted (232-181) to approve the Energy Consumers Relief Act (H.R. 1582), which was introduced by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. this past April.  The Act would require the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) to be transparent when proposing and issuing energy-related regulations with an economic impact of $1 billion or more. Following the House vote, Congressman Cassidy released the following statement:
“President Obama is leading an assault on energy workers. Whether it’s hindering oil drilling in the Gulf or delaying the Keystone XL pipeline, his policies hurt Americans and leave us dependent on foreign oil. “The passage of my Energy Consumers Relief Act is the first step toward checking his agenda. It pushes the EPA regulatory process out in the open. It simply says that Americans should know whether EPA regulations will kill jobs. This will create an honest debate which will force the President to account for his actions. ”
The bill is supported by 31 national and regional organizations, including the American Petroleum Institute, the National Association of Manufacturers, Americans for Prosperity, Associated Builders and Contractors Inc.  Conversely, the USEPA has indicated that it has major concerns about the bill, claiming it could “permanently block EPA from fulfilling its statutory obligations to protect public health and the environment.” Notably, on July 25, 2013, Senator Dean Heller (R-Nev.) introduced similar legislation.  Heller’s Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013 would require the USEPA to submit costs and benefits analyses to Congress before finalizing any energy-related rules.  

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