Regulatory Pause

Regulatory Pause Laser Talk

Question:  Does H.R.2307 restrict EPA regulations?

Answer:  No, it does not. The 2019 version of the bill had placed limitations on the EPA’s ability to enforce certain regulations on greenhouse gases (GHGs ) [1,2,3] under the Clean Air Act, but those limitations have been removed from the bill that was resubmitted in April 2021.

The only regulations in question were for GHGs on large stationary sources, primarily those embodied in the Clean Power Plan. [1] There is strong evidence from economic literature that a policy like the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would reduce those emissions more efficiently than existing or proposed regulations. [4]

However, with the repeal of Clean Power Plan regulations in 2019, [5] the regulatory pause became essentially moot. Another point is that the pause constituted a modification of the Clean Air Act, which led some influential organizations to strongly object to it, regardless of how narrow it might have been. Given these considerations and the rapidly changing political circumstances around climate policy, the bill sponsors could no longer justify including a regulatory pause in the reintroduced Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

In a Nutshell: The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2021, unlike the 2019 bill, does not suspend the enforcement of any EPA regulations on greenhouse gases.

  1. “FACT SHEET: Overview of the Clean Power Plan.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (snapshot) (19 Jan 2017).
  2. “Regulation Database – New Source Performance Standards for GHG Emissions from Electric Generating Units.” Columbia Law School Sabin Center for Climate Change Law (accessed 30 Apr 2021).
  3. “PSD and Title V Permitting Guidance for Greenhouse Gases.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation (Mar 2011).
  4. Rosetti, P., D Bosch, and D. Goldbeck. “Comparing Effectiveness of Climate Regulations and a Carbon Tax.” American Action Forum (2 Jul 2018).
  5. “Affordable Clean Energy Rule.” U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (19 Jun 2019).

This page was last updated on 05/05/21 at 15:00 CDT.