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Press Release Published: Jul 10, 2024

Comer Opens Hearing on Oversight of the EPA

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) today delivered opening remarks at a hearing on “Oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.” Chairman Comer detailed how the EPA under the Biden Administration has pushed a whole-of-government climate agenda, including the implementation of burdensome regulations and sweeping executive orders that have raised energy costs on all American consumers and businesses. Chairman Comer emphasized the Biden Administration must put the interests of the American people first instead of appeasing left-wing special interest groups and climate scaremongers. To alleviate the financial burden on Americans across the country, Chaiman Comer concluded EPA Administrator Michael Regan must halt the excessive rules and regulations pushed by the EPA and work in actual partnership with Congress

Below are Chairman Comer’s prepared remarks.

Today we are conducing oversight of the Biden Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan leads EPA as it implements President Biden’s environmental agenda.

Not only did President Biden have a disastrous debate performance, but his entire presidency has also been disastrous for the American people.

President Biden’s radical agenda has pushed out massive, costly regulations.

From the moment he stepped into office, President Biden—or at least those around him—pushed out sweeping executive orders and regulations aimed at transforming critical sectors of our economy.

From transportation to power generation, this Administration has enacted a whole-of-government approach to change how these sectors operate in service to the Left’s radical climate agenda.

And no cost is spared.

But folks at home across this country will be left footing the bill for the price of these massive rulemakings.

EPA’s largest regulations, such as the tailpipe emissions rules for light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, have been estimated to cost nearly $900 billion dollars to implement.

Those rules require automakers to completely redesign their operations to produce more electric vehicles—regardless of what consumers are demanding in the actual marketplace.

Instead of letting consumers and the market decide what products fit their lifestyle needs, the Biden Administration wants to force them into these decisions, no matter the cost.

EPA is also implementing costly regulations designed to force coal-fired power plants out of the power-generation sector.

Coal produced over 16 percent of the total electricity generation in the United States in 2023 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In Kentucky, over two thirds of our electricity is generated by coal-fired plants.

But EPA’s rules will force the premature retirement of reliable sources of electricity like coal plants at a time when electricity demand continues to rise.

Removing reliable power generation capabilities undermines the stability of our electric grid and puts consumers at risk of rolling blackouts and forced rationing of electricity.

As these rules go into effect, Americans will be left literally powerless.

How can the Administration push to electrify the U.S. vehicle fleet on the one hand while it undermines the reliability of the electric grid on the other?

During the 118th Congress, this Committee has investigated numerous regulations of various sizes and scopes, but one theme keeps reappearing: Higher costs of regulations leads to higher costs for consumers.

The Biden Administration has either ignored or refused to learn this basic economic lesson.

It’s very simple.

When the federal government imposes new massive regulations, the costs of compliance don’t just magically vanish into thin air.

Those costs are passed to consumers who will be faced with higher prices and fewer choices in the market.

The numbers are staggering. 

By their own estimates, the Biden Administration—in just three and a half years on the job—has imposed over $1.6 trillion dollars in estimated new federal regulatory costs. 

And $1.3 trillion dollars of those costs—over 80 percent of the total—are from new EPA regulations.

Americans already started seeing higher prices and fewer choices because of regulations, and we can expect it will only get worse as these rules really kick into high gear. 

Gas prices have skyrocketed, utility bills continue to increase, and inflation has eaten into every household’s spending power.

Administrator Regan, you committed at your confirmation hearing to build “consensus around pragmatic solutions” and to “work in partnership with Congress.”

Well, Sir, the sheer cost of the regulations coming out of the Biden Administration doesn’t strike me or many Americans as “pragmatic solutions” at all.

$1.3 trillion dollars just from the EPA is setting us down a dangerous path of overregulation.

I hope that we can impress upon the Administration today how much it needs to start putting the interests of the American people first, and not simply look to appease these well-organized, left-wing special interest groups and climate scaremongers.

Americans cannot afford the bill that they will ultimately be left paying by this Administration.

Thank you, and I now yield to the Ranking Member for his opening remarks.