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Rahall supports measure giving Congress more oversight of EPA regulations

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U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said Aug. 2 that he has joined with U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where Rahall serves as the top Democrat, in introducing "The Domestic Energy Production Protection Act" that requires Congressional approval of EPA rules with an impact on coal and other forms of domestic energy production.

"The EPA has a responsibility to abide by the public participation and transparency requirements of the law, and to be mindful of how its regulatory agenda affects not only local communities and the jobs of working families but also energy prices for consumers and businesses," Rahall said in a written statement.

"The courts have said so and now it's time for the Congress to say so.  Unprecedented regulatory steps have been taken by this Agency to advance an ideological agenda and this bill is needed to ensure that the public has a voice in how these regulations are developed and implemented."

The Domestic Energy Production Protection Act requires the EPA to submit regulatory actions to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for analysis on energy production if those actions would lower the expected rate of domestic production. The OIRA must complete analysis within 90 days and submit a report to Congress, as well as analysis on jobs impact. No rules may take effect unless Congress enacts a joint resolution approving the regulatory action.

"I am hopeful that new leadership at the EPA will lead to a more balanced policy with respect to energy policy," Rahall said.  "But regardless of who heads this Agency, the American people must not be sidestepped when regulations that have such a broad impact on our economy and jobs are issued.  Such actions run contrary to core American beliefs that government authority derives from the people and it is the people our legislation aims to ensure the EPA remains accountable to."