Fighting Back Against Government Overregulation

Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment, authored by Representative Steven Palazzo (MS-04) and I, during consideration of the fiscal year 2017 Interior and Environment bill, which prevents the Department of Interior from using any funds to implement the burdensome Air Quality Control Rule until after studies have proven that it is necessary.

On April 5, 2016, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) published the Clean Air Reporting and Compliance rule that places burdensome regulations on the offshore oil and gas industry. BOEM has committed nearly $4 million to two studies to determine whether or not changes to the Air Quality Rule are necessary. These studies have not been completed but BOEM continues to move forward with the rule.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is required to regulate offshore activities only if the emissions from those offshore activities have significant effects on onshore air quality. This outcome is impossible to determine without the results of the completed studies.

Oil and gas is crucial to the Texas economy and unfortunately, the industry is already subject to crushing regulations. BOEM has failed to demonstrate the need for the additional regulations, and the proposed rule could cost oil and gas facilities millions of dollars to comply. The Department of Interior’s plan to impose the rule without waiting for the completion of the studies is another example of excessive regulations and government overreach. The Obama Administration is regulating without determining whether there is a problem to be fixed in the first place.

For full text of the amendment, click here.


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