EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck

While pending regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (despite congressional rejection of cap-and-trade) has received the lion’s share of the attention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has also begun developing and finalizing a slew of overreaching and inefficient air and water rules.  Expected to be released over the next several years, these rules will dramatically increase energy costs, cause enormous negative impacts to jobs and the economy, irreparably damage the competitiveness of American business, and trample on state sovereignty in the process.

Because of these issues, ALEC started an initiative in 2011 to ensure states remain the first among equals with the federal government on environmental regulation. In addition, ALEC’s efforts are intended to maintain the important balance of rational environmental protection with economic progress.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty, published in June of 2013, reviews the EPA’s unprecedented regulatory encroachment on state sovereignty. In addition to giving a status update of the regulations detailed in previous ALEC EPA publications, this report demonstrates how the EPA’s measures increased the agency’s power at the expense of the states through seizing regulatory authority and replacing input from the states with environmental groups. Lastly, the report provides ALEC model policy that can be used to push back against the EPA’s assault on state sovereignty.

Economy Derailed: State-by-State Impacts of the EPA Regulatory Train Wreck, published in April of 2012, details the most onerous EPA regulations and their specific consequences on state economies. The report highlights the environmental quality improvements made over the past few decades, provides an exhaustive reference list of organizations and groups that oppose the EPA overreach, and makes recommendations on how state legislators can play a role in maintaining state sovereignty over environmental protection.

EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators, published in February of 2011, outlines the costs of major EPA rules on the national level, tells the true story of America’s modern clean air and water successes, and outlines best practices for state legislators. The report explores more than 15 pieces of ALEC model legislation related to regulatory review and state environmental sovereignty, contains a glossary of Clean Air Act terminology, and includes responses from state environmental officials to the heavy-handed approach of EPA.

For more information about the EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck, you can download the 2011 report, 2012 report, or 2013 report.