House lawmakers on Wednesday will review the Environmental Protection Agency's history of regulation under President Obama.
In a memo to lawmakers, Republican staff on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce said the EPA in the Obama years has released more than 3,900 rules and regulations that total nearly 76,000 pages in the Federal Register. In this year alone, as of June 15, the EPA has issued 219 rules that amount to 1,606 page of paperwork, according to Republican staffers.
The memo stated the hearing will examine how these rules and regulations are impacting the electricity sector.
"This regulatory activity has included an expanding set of over 100 greenhouse gas related rules, a number of which have economic impacts measured in the billions of dollars," the memo stated. "Many of the EPA's new greenhouse gas and other major rules affecting the energy and industrial sectors are deemed to be economically significant and cumulatively they impose billions of dollars in new compliance costs."
There will be two panels of witnesses at the hearing. The first panel will only consist of Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation.
The other panel will consist of Lynn Helms, director of the North Dakota Industrial Commission; Travis Kavulla, president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility commissioners and vice-chairman of the Montana Public Service Commission; Charles McConnell, executive director of the Energy and Environment Initiative; David Porter, chairman of the Railroad Commission of Texas ; and Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen.
The EPA's Clean Power Plan, the signature Obama administration environmental regulation on new and existing coal power plants, is sure to be examined.
The Clean Power Plan is currently blocked by the Supreme Court as more than half the states have sued to prevent the regulation from going into effect. However, committee staffers allege the EPA is still implementing the rules.
"Despite the U.S. Supreme Court's unprecedented stay of this rule, EPA is continuing to move forward with new rules to implement the plan, including a proposed 'Clean Energy Incentive Program,'" the memo stated.
While the EPA is a frequent target for Republican wrath, the vitriol has stepped up in recent weeks as the pace of lawmaking slows in the Capitol. The EPA has been under examination from congressional committees in each of the last two weeks.
Last week, a panel of senators grilled the EPA's enforcement chief over "questionable" practices her office engages in and, in the week before that, members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology got their shots in at EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
At Wednesday's hearing, the subcommittee plans to examine what issues the legal, cost and practical implementation of the EPA's regulations cause, how the regulations impact the affordability and reliability of energy, how the regulations impact American households, consumers and workers.