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Bakersfield Observed: McCarthy: House Working To Bring Common Sense To EPA Regulations

Oct 7, 2011
In The News
By Kevin McCarthy
October 7, 2011

Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying, "The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense." Well, in Washington, the third essential doesn't come around near often enough, but I'm working hard to change that.

Take the Cement MACT regulations for example. These are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules governing emissions from cement manufacturing plants. EPA itself estimates these rules would cost cement manufacturers around $2.2 billion to comply with and the cement industry says the rules have the potential to shut down almost 20 percent of the domestic industry – giving our competitors abroad, such as China, yet another leg up on us. Here at home, these rules would mean tens of millions of dollars in compliance costs for our cement plants in Tehachapi, Mojave and Lebec and up to 400 jobs lost.

So this week, the House took some common sense action to address the harmful impacts of these standards by passing H.R. 2681, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act. This bill halts the current regulations and directs EPA to re-propose new less harmful standards, as well as extends the timeframe for our local plants and the rest of the industry to comply with the standards. This simple, bipartisan and common sense measure will stave off billions in compliance costs, the potential loss of hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and help keep America competitive in today's global economy.

From my bill to repeal the $29 million fine we're paying for an ozone standard EPA revoked, to my push to open up more lands for public use, to my efforts to rescind an archaic Securities and Exchange Commission rule that could give small business owners greater access to capital, and my recently introduced legislation to freeze federal funding for California's questionable high-speed rail project, common sense is also the driving force behind the legislation I've authored this year.

Sadly, we lost two people this week whose contributions impacted many of our lives. With the passing of Steve Jobs, we lost an amazing innovator and icon in the field of technology. From the Apple computer to the iPad, he revolutionized how we use computers and information today. Our local community also learned of the passing of long-time actor and Kern County resident Charlie Napier, who we remember from his many roles on the big and small screen.

On a brighter note, I was glad to see several members of our local community in D.C. this week, including Robert Haude, who used to work with my father, and his wife Cindy, as well as Anna Lusher and her sons Lucas and Jacob, who were here for the Congressional Youth Leadership Council's Junior National Young Leaders Conference. I always enjoy seeing young people from our community engaged and involved in leadership activities. If you're planning a trip to D.C., I encourage you to contact my office at 202-225-2915 to schedule a tour.