Testimony on “Mandate Madness: When Sue and Settle Just Isn’t Enough”

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Chairman Lankford, Ranking Member Connolly, Members of the Subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today about the Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Haze program. I am William Yeatman, assistant director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. We are a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. CEI specializes in regulatory policy. We accept no government funding and rely entirely on individuals, corporations, and charitable foundations for our financial support.

My testimony addresses whether the Environmental Protection Agency is infringing on the States’ rightful authority on visibility improvement policy pursuant to the Clean Air Act. So-called “sue and settle” consent decrees—among other regulatory maneuvers described below—have figured prominently in Regional Haze Federal implementation plans imposed by EPA on Oklahoma, New Mexico, and North Dakota, over the staunch objections of State leaders. EPA’s imposed Regional Haze plans would cost almost $400 million per year more than the State plans.