EPA Seeks Input on Reducing Carbon EmissionsOctober 30, 2013
On Wednesday, Sept. 23 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) kicked off its public listening tour to solicit ideas and input on how best to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA and states share a role in reducing air pollution from existing power plants. These listening sessions—being held in 11 states over the next few weeks—are designed to provide EPA with input in formulating regulatory guidelines on how best to reduce these emissions.
Adequate, reliable, and affordable energy is a key factor in promoting job creation, new business formation, and long-term economic growth for America’s entrepreneurs and small-business community. Polices should be designed to keep electricity and heating costs at a minimum to allow small business to remain competitive in an environment where even a five percent increase in energy costs can mean the difference between hiring another employee, launching a new product, or expanding their firms. NSBA believes that it is in the country’s best interests to pursue an all-of-the-above strategy to achieve adequate and affordable energy from stable and reliable sources while at the same time preventing adverse health effects from pollution and ensuring that any new policy does not place an undue or unfair burden on small firms.
Over 90 percent of small business respondents to a recent NSBA poll said that they were concerned with the future energy costs of running their business and 87 percent said that rising and/or volatile energy prices have a negative effect on their companies. These listening sessions are an opportunity for small businesses to change the dynamic in how the federal government approaches the reduction in carbon emissions and ensure that any new guidelines or standards take into account the impact that a potential increase in energy costs would have small businesses.
EPA will continue to seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.
In addition to participating in the listening sessions, NSBA is encouraging small businesses to contact their Members of Congress and remind them that small businesses like yours fuel the economy and in order for us to remain successful, access to stable, low cost energy is vital and we need policy from the EPA that supports our objectives in an environmentally responsible way.