Jeff Flake - U.S. Senator ~ Arizona

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Flake Kicks Off “Earth, Wind, and Fire” Week

Reintroduces bills to rein in harmful EPA regulations in Arizona

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power, today began his “Earth, Wind, and Fire Week,” during which he will welcome representatives from Arizona’s counties to Washington. Flake will use the week as an opportunity to introduce a total of seven land, air, and forestry bills that will ease burdensome regulations and provide for more economic development and infrastructure investment in rural Arizona.

Flake started the week by reintroducing three “Wind” bills to rein in overreaching and economically harmful Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air regulations.

“Arizona ratepayers and businesses shouldn’t be forced shoulder the burden of EPA’s costly, convoluted regulations,” said Flake. “By holding EPA accountable for its actions, we can keep our air clean without creating job-killing regulatory uncertainty.”

A full list of Flake’s “Wind” bills can be viewed below:

  • Agency PAYGO for Greenhouse Gases Act – would limit EPA’s ability to impose the costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) rules on other federal agencies without first providing an offset from EPA’s own budget. It would also prohibit EPA from passing the federal costs of a GHG rule onto consumers of federal power generating agencies, such as the Western Area Power Authority. This will prevent EPA from circumventing Congress and shifting the burden of costly regulations onto Arizona ratepayers.
    • Cosponsors: U.S. Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.)

    • Support: American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; Arizona Farm Bureau Federation; Arizona Rock Products Association; National Mining Association; Arizona Cattlemen’s Association; Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Southern Arizona Home Builders Association; Arizona Mining Association

  • Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform (CLEER) Act – would streamline EPA regulations to ensure that states and localities are not considered in violation of federal air-quality standards due to uncontrollable, naturally occurring events, such as the dust storms and wildfires that occur in Arizona. When these “exceptional events” occur, states and localities are currently required to submit costly and complicated demonstration projects to EPA for review. These reviews can be indefinite, cumbersome, and often arbitrary and unpredictable. The CLEER will ensure that states like Arizona aren’t punished by EPA for natural events that are outside of anyone’s control.

    • Cosponsors: McCain, Cotton

    • Support: US Chamber of Commerce; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; American Farm Bureau Federation;  Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Arizona Rock Products Association; Arizona Farm Bureau Federation; Arizona Cattlemen’s Association; Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona Mining Association; National Association of Manufacturers; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Public Lands Council

  • Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act – would revise EPA’s existing timeline for reviewing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and air quality criteria from five year intervals to 10 year intervals. This would provide EPA with more time to review and revise air quality standards, which would ensure a more certain regulatory environment for state air-quality agencies and private sector businesses. The bill would also delay the implementation and enforcement of the finalized 2015 ozone standard until 2025. This would prevent a costly regulation from going into effect, which is expected to place more than 200 counties in non-attainment status with no measurable benefits.      

    • CosponsorsMcCain, Cotton and Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

    • Support: US Chamber of Commerce; American Farm Bureau Federation; Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association; Arizona Cattlemen's Association; American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers; National Mining Association; American Chemistry Council; Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Southern Arizona Home Builders Association; Arizona Mining Association; Arizona Rock Products Association; Arizona Farm Bureau Federation; National Association of Manufacturers; National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; Public Lands Council

Background: 

  • In the 114th Congress, Flake reintroduced the Agency PAYGO for Greenhouse Gases Act. The bill would limit EPA’s ability to impose the costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) rules on other federal agencies without first providing an offset. Flake introduced similar legislation in the 113th Congress. Read about the bill here.
  • In the 114th Congress, Flake reintroduced the Commonsense Legislative Exceptional Events Reform (CLEER) Act. The bill would streamline EPA regulations intended to ensure that states and localities are not considered in violation of federal air-quality standards due to uncontrollable, naturally occurring events – otherwise known as “exceptional events” – such as the dust storms and wildfires that occur in Arizona. Flake introduced similar legislation in the 113th Congress. Read about the bill here.    
  • In the 114th Congress, Flake reintroduced the Ozone Regulatory Delay and Extension of Assessment Length (ORDEAL) Act. The bill would provide EPA with more time to review and revise ozone and other air quality standards, ensuring a more certain regulatory environment for state air-quality agencies and businesses. Flake introduced similar legislation in the 113th Congress. Read about the bill here.    

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