Obama threatens to veto two Republican bills delaying EPA regs

C.J. Ciaramella Contributor
Font Size:

President Obama threatened Monday night to veto two GOP bills rolling back Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The bills in question, the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 and the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011, would delay implementation of many EPA rules set to go into effect.

An official statement of administration policy released Monday says that, if either of the GOP bills make it to Obama’s desk, his “senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.”

A release from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office says the EPA regulations “would cost millions in compliance costs and eliminate jobs.”

“By removing regulatory burdens we can provide certainty to manufacturers, employers, schools, and hospitals so they have the confidence to invest, expand and hire again,” Cantor’s office said.

However, the White House said the bills would nix “long-overdue requirements to reduce air pollution from industrial boilers, solid waste incinerators, and cement plants.”

“The bills also would weaken EPA’s ability to ensure that its standards protect American families from a range of harmful pollutants including mercury and other toxic metals, as well as smog and soot,” the White House continued. (RELATED: EPA inspector general calls greenhouse gas science flawed)

The White House muscle-flexing comes just a month after Obama ordered the EPA to shelve increased air-quality standards it was proposing. The move infuriated environmentalists and the president’s liberal base, who accused him of retreating in the face of GOP and industry opposition.

The threat by the administration may also be a tactic to get Obama’s American Jobs Act on the floor of Congress more quickly. Obama has insisted Congress pass his jobs bill without delay. However, House GOP leaders said they will first review several of their own “pro-growth bills” — such as the EPA Regulatory Relief Act — before diving into Obama’s jobs bill.

Follow CJ Ciaramella on Twitter