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Press Release

Senate’s Support for EPA Regulation Will Hurt Consumers and Strangle Recovery, Taxpayer Group Says

January 13, 2010
By Pete Sepp

(Alexandria, VA) – As activists renewed pressure on the U.S. Senate to support EPA “command-and-control” regulations on emissions, Pete Sepp, Vice President for Policy and Communications with the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), gave the following statement:

Last week’s warning that Capitol Hill can soon expect a flood of correspondence from pro- regulation, pro-cap-and-trade activists calling on the Senate to support EPA’s new power grab and act on climate legislation should worry consumers nationwide.

New regulation out of the Environmental Protection Agency that aims to curb greenhouse gas emissions amounts to little more than a new tax on businesses and consumers. If EPA’s ‘endangerment finding’ is fully implemented, all kinds of products and services – from milk and paper towels to gasoline and electric bills – will cost more. And these new taxes are the last things Americans can afford right now as they attempt to crawl out of a recession.

What’s worse, the EPA has attempted to hide the true impact of its proposed regulatory tax hike through political showmanship. Paying lip service to early critics, the EPA claimed to limit the scope of its enforcement through a Tailoring Rule that supposedly restricts enforcement to only large emitters of greenhouse gasses. Once the curtains of political theater are pulled back, it’s clear that all businesses and consumers will pay a portion of the sizable immediate burden this ruling will place on thousands of facilities, as they pass increased costs on to consumers.

At a time when taxpayers are feeling the biggest squeeze since the Great Depression, it’s unconscionable that Congress is responding with regulatory and legislative proposals that will only make matters worse. Small businesses can’t meet their benefit obligations. Working families are struggling to pay mortgages. Even large companies are bleeding thousands of jobs.

Congress needs to lead in advocating environmentally sound reforms that also improve economic productivity. Restructuring the nation’s air traffic control and highway operations would reduce wasted time as well as emissions from wasted fuel. Removing regulatory barriers to develop more emissions-friendly electricity options is important. Low taxes can help the private sector cultivate green technologies without government subsidies.

If the EPA is able to exercise its regulatory authority to mandate new carbon emissions rules nationwide, or if Congress establishes a cap-and-trade system, no corner of our country will be left unhurt. That’s why sensible citizens of all political persuasions need to tell their lawmakers now to oppose these policies and work for pro-taxpayer alternatives.

NTU is a nonpartisan, nonprofit citizen organization founded in 1969 to work for lower taxes, smaller government, and economic freedom at all levels. Note: additional analyses and commentaries on energy and climate policy are available at