Press Releases

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2018

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, tharris@pachamber.org | 717.720.5447

PA Chamber Highlights Challenges to Manufacturing, Energy Sector at U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing; Calls for Air Quality Permitting Reform to Protect Environment, Grow Economy

HARRISBURG - PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday today testified at the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on the Environment. At the hearing, titled New Source Review Permitting Challenges for Manufacturing and Infrastructure, Sunday called on federal lawmakers and regulators to enact reforms to air quality permitting requirements to allow manufacturers and businesses to reinvest in their facilities to reduce emissions and compete in the global economy.

 

“These regulations, while well-intentioned, have had the practical effect of companies shelving projects that would allow them to lower costs and emissions,” Sunday said. “The air quality rules, as interpreted by previous administrations, set artificially low baselines on emissions when the economy takes a downturn. If, during an economic upturn, a company wants to expand and crosses that baseline, the costs for compliance increase exponentially. We have the opportunity to reform this program in a way that allows companies to make their facilities cleaner and more efficient – which means better air quality and more protection of public health.

 

“Policymakers in Washington D.C. also need to take steps to cut down on the time it takes for state and federal regulators to agree with each other on the rules. These disputes can end up costing businesses tens of thousands of dollars in legal and consulting fees. We need to stop wasting resources. We are encouraged by recent steps taken by EPA Administrator Pruitt to reform this program, and we look forward to additional reforms that will protect the environment and allow our economy to grow.”

 

Sunday’s testimony also highlighted the generational opportunity being presented by federal tax reform and domestic energy assets. Economic activity is expected to increase as a result of tax reform, and energy assets in the Marcellus and Utica basin could yield tens of billions of dollars in new investment, and hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to several recent economic reports. Sunday encouraged reform to the New Source Review program to allow companies to take advantage of these opportunities without being unnecessarily restricted by permitting requirements. 

 
To read Sunday’s testimony, click here.

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The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.