House Bill Would Create Potential DOE-EPA Conflict

The Energy Consumers Relief Act (HR 1582) has the potential to give the Department of Energy “veto power” over EPA actions related to energy-related regulatory efforts.  Republican sponsors say that the measure is designed to protect industry and business from “…an overly aggressive EPA at a fragile time for the US economy.”

The bill requires EPA to submit any proposed energy-related regulatory action with a price tag of greater than $1 billion to the Secretary of Energy for review.  The Secretary would then determine whether energy and fuel price changes would cause an adverse impact on the economy.  If that proved to be the case, then EPA could not move ahead with the rule making.

Not surprisingly, the White House has threatened to veto the measure.  The Office of Management and Budget has stated that the proposal would result in costly and duplicative reviews that would ultimately delay or prevent EPA from fulfilling its legal obligations.  The Congressional Budget Office has also weighed in with an estimate that it would take an additional $7 million per year to fund the DOE review process.