America’s abundant natural resources help meet our nation’s energy needs and provide the raw materials for many industries. While our natural resources require responsible governance, bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency have often proposed crippling regulations that make energy and manufacturing far too expensive.
U.S. Rep. Rokita is committed to sound policies that unleash the economic power of our resources to create good jobs for Hoosiers. By speaking up for Hoosiers who suffer under red tape from the EPA and other agencies, he’s working to ensure that environmental regulations don’t stifle economic growth.
Located about 50 miles west of Indianapolis, the Buzzi Unicem USA plant near Greencastle employs 170 Hoosiers and produces 1.5 million tons of Portland cement every year. The plant’s primary fuel source is nearly 100,000 tons of coal per year, the burning of which produces a product called fly ash.
In an effort to conserve resources, Buzzi Unicem USA uses nearly 10,000 tons of fly ash per year as a substitute for natural sands in cement, along with replacing some of its coal use with natural fuels. Despite the many safe uses of fly ash, the EPA began investigations into regulating the product as a hazardous waste, which would overrule the state laws that Indiana legislators have passed.
If these regulations were to be enacted, the many manufacturers who use of fly ash would face significant regulatory burdens. This could force Buzzi Unicem USA to ship more fly ash outside of the facility, instead of using it safely within the plant. Facing this potential regulatory nightmare, Buzzi Unicem officials contacted U.S. Rep. Rokita’s office with their concerns.
Rokita then decided to support H.R. 2273, the Coal Residuals and Management Act, which would give states, and not distant federal bureaucrats, the ability to regulate fly ash. In October 2011, Rokita was one of 267 members from both parties in the House of Representatives to vote to pass the bill.
“Buzzi Unicem was very pleased that Congressman Rokita strongly supported passage of H.R.2273, legislation that would keep the states in the driver seat to address fly ash regulation. When presented again with the opportunity to defend states’ rights on fly ash he did so by voting in support of H.R. 4348, the House transportation bill. Buzzi Unicem is pleased that Congressman Rokita is willing to vote in favor of the interests of the cement and concrete industries. We look forward to working with him on issues critical to our nation’s infrastructure in the future,” said John Kass, Greencastle plant manager.
For Rokita, it’s a relief to celebrate this Red Tape Rollback VICTORY for the manufacturers and workers of Indiana.
“All too often, the EPA puts forth rules with seemingly little regard for their job-killing consequences,” said Rokita. “The bill to block these rules passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support and was truly a win for our Hoosier job creators.”
The EPA in recent years has considered placing restrictions on lead used in bullets and shotgun pellets for hunting or recreation. In April 2012, the House passed H.R. 4089, the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act, which would explicitly prohibit the EPA from doing this. U.S. Rep. Rokita voted in support of the bill – another Red Tape Rollback VICTORY!
Indiana’s Rural Electric Membership Corporations have expressed concerns about the EPA’s National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Pollutants, as well as regulations affecting the use of compression ignition and spark ignition stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE) in controlling demand for electricity at peak times. U.S. Rep. Rokita sent a letter to the EPA expressing his opposition to the rules. The EPA agreed to reconsider the rules in October 2011 – a Red Tape Rollback VICTORY!
The EPA places strict requirements on people who “flip” houses to require extensive training for dealing with hazardous materials. U.S. Rep. Rokita has examined the issue and is monitoring the situation for new developments should action be warranted.
The EPA has begun implementing costly and duplicative permitting requirements for pesticide applications. These requirements will place a significant burden on small businesses for little obvious environmental benefit. In response, the House passed H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, with U.S. Rep. Rokita voting in support – another Red Tape Rollback VICTORY!
Hoosier businesses have expressed concern about potential attempts by the EPA to strictly regulate greenhouse gas emissions, which could have a devastating effect on the economy. Although specific regulations are not at issue yet, U.S. Rep. Rokita is paying close attention to the EPA’s approach to emissions monitoring.
Companies such as Energy Services Group, a Vectren subsidiary headquartered in Evansville, could be required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission if they offer advice to a municipality on how much money could be saved by making energy efficient upgrades. In response, U.S. Rep. Rokita signed a letter along with members of the Indiana delegation to the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees in May 2011.