Shimkus Rails Against Latest Job-Destroying EPA Rules
WASHINGTON – Congressman John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15) spoke Thursday in support of legislation to delay an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule targeting American brick manufactures until legal challenges to the rule have been resolved.
In his unscripted remarks, Shimkus likened the legislation to actions taken by the Supreme Court last month to stop implementation of EPA’s Clean Power Plan until a lawsuit brought by 27 states is decided by the court. The congressman lent his support to the states in that case, State of West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, by signing an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court.
“This is really part of a bigger debate,” said Shimkus. “What the EPA likes to do is put out a regulation and play this game. They say: We will impose the regulation, we know it’s not legal, but we’re going to force industry to comply. And then when the courts say it’s not legal, businesses have already gone too far and the jobs have been lost.”
Shimkus cited EPA’s 2003 Brick MACT rule as an example.
“The EPA promulgated their first Brick MACT rule in 2003,” Shimkus said. “The rule was vacated by the federal court in 2007. Vacated, which means you can’t do it. But the industry already was forced to spend millions and millions of dollars to comply.”
Bricks are manufactured in 38 states, including Illinois. According to the Chamber of Commerce, more than 60 of the 70 U.S. brick plants are owned and operated by small, often family-owned companies. Industry estimates put the cost of compliance with the new rule at as much as $100 million per year.
The legislation – H.R. 4557, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act – passed the House 238-163. President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.