Today Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), joined by Reps. Frank Upton (R-MI), Nick Rahall (D-WV) and Colin Peterson (D-MN), introduced "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011" to bar the use of the Clean Air Act in the regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The bill would prevent EPA from imposing backdoor legislation in the form of more federal rules.
The Inhofe-Upton bill would stop unelected federal officials from circumventing the democratic process by limiting the scope of the Clean Air Act. The bill leaves all of the essential provisions of the Clean Air Act intact, ensuring that Americans will be protected from pollution that has direct public health impacts, without negatively affecting American jobs and economic growth.
"Congress has already rejected cap-and-trade legislation. Imposing federal rules that achieve no tangible environmental benefit, such as EPA's limits on GHG emissions from large industrial plants, will only hinder our sector's recovery from the steepest economic downturn since the 1930s," stated Brian McCarthy, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association (PCA).
Cement manufacturers have lost 4,000 high wage jobs—25 percent of its workforce—in recent years because of harsh economic conditions. Normally the industry directly provides 15,000 Americans with high-wage jobs, and when combined with allied industries, accounts for nearly $27.5 billion of the gross domestic product (GDP).
"Cement manufacturers and working Americans from all industry sectors could use more champions like Senator Inhofe and Chairman Upton. We look forward to continuing to work with these leaders to craft federal policies that will stimulate job growth while achieving real environmental benefits," McCarthy stated.