Statement of Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney in opposition to the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act

Sep 23, 2011
Press Release

Statement of Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney in opposition to the Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act (TRAIN Act), H.R. 2401:

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to HR 2401. Instead of legislation that would train Americans to get back to full employment, the majority is bringing to the floor a bill that harms the health of our nation.
This bill would endanger the health of millions of our nation’s children, seniors, and sick by blocking rules to reduce cross-state air pollution and to reduce the emissions of mercury, lead, dioxin, and other toxic chemicals from power plants. H.R. 2401 would also delay future safeguards by requiring studies that only measure pollution cleanup costs while disregarding health and other benefits.

Along with many of my colleagues, I recently sent letters to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of the Power Plant Air Toxics Rule and the Cross-State Air Pollution Control Rule because of the positive impact these rules will have on the public health of our nation. Toxic air pollution from power plants remains a major unregulated source of mercury and lead in the air. Already, more than half of all coal-fired power plants use widely available pollution control technologies to meet these important standards.  Once the rule is final, the remaining 44 percent will take similar steps to decrease dangerous pollutants, saving thousands of lives and avoiding tens of thousands of illnesses. It is clear that the benefits of the mercury and air toxics standards will far outweigh its costs -- it is estimated that the pollution reductions required by the rule will yield health benefits of $59 billion to $140 billion per year (from lower health care costs and higher worker productivity), which is 5 to 13 times its costs.

Further, by delaying the Cross-State Air Pollution Control Rule this bill would allow highly polluting facilities located upwind to continue to pollute major metropolitan areas with impunity. Such sources of pollution have made it unattainable for major metropolitan areas like New York City to be in compliance with federal standards for smog pollution even though most pollution is generated by large upwind sources.  The Cross State Rule would make polluters control pollution at the source rather than continuing to shift the cost burden onto local governments and local taxpayers.  

This bill requires an unnecessary, duplicative, and biased study of specified air quality and hazardous waste regulations without assessing the benefits of environmental and public health standards. Impeding these EPA rules jeopardizes the health and well-being of the American people. I encourage my colleagues to vote against this legislative train wreck.