Barletta discusses environmental regulations' impact on manufacturing

U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) addressed issues central to the Pennsylvania Manufacturing Association (PMA) at an environmental regulation press conference on Wednesday, including voicing his support and concern for industry in the Keystone State.

Manufacturing, said Barletta, is the backbone of Pennsylvania industry, providing 12 percent of the state’s total gross product, and would be negatively impacted if the Environmental Protection Agency's new power plan rules become effective, costing the commonwealth 29,000 jobs, according to a July Heritage Foundation report.

Additionally, if the proposed challenging ozone level reduction numbers are enacted, the state stands to lose $98 billion in gross product, more than 100,000 jobs or the equivalent, $109 billion in compliance costs for the private sector, and an average $1,420 decrease in household consumption,  the National Association of Manufacturers said.

Combined with the over-reaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule on the table, plus mercury and methane regulations, Pennsylvania's government simply stands to lose too much.

The Congressman cited a recent PMA study revealing that consumers across the commonwealth do not perceive air quality to be a major issue; rather, the majority believes their respective local areas’ biggest problem is “less economic growth and job opportunities caused by regulations.”

Over three-quarters of citizens queried believe that stricter air quality laws would result in higher taxes and higher prices on everyday purchases; two-thirds think it would hurt local businesses.

While “our business tax policies do not make Pennsylvania a competitive business location…our affordable energy and reliable infrastructure has put Pennsylvania back on the map of business selection surveys,” Barletta said, adding that forcing the EPA ultimatum would threaten the state’s business competitiveness.

The congressman stated that “the air today is cleaner than it’s been in measurable history… . Manufacturers are committed to being responsible stewards of our environment, doing more with less and always discovering best practices. The manufacturing sector takes pride in continuing to advance technological limits to produce goods in a safer, cleaner, and more environmentally friendly manner.”

Barletta concluded by urging the Obama administration to support America’s workers with the right decisions.

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