Last fall, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, directing EPA to re-propose the rules so they are both economically and technically achievable.
Fortunately, the EPA decided to not only extend the deadline for compliance, but changed their requirements to more reasonable and achievable goals.
According to the Energy and Commerce Committee’s numbers, the cost would have been 3.4 billion dollars and thousands of jobs as 20% of the cement plants would have closed due to the costs.
Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), author of H.R. 2681 and Vice Chairman of the Energy and Power Subcommittee stated:
“This is a welcome development in the fight to scale back EPA’s radical regulatory agenda and to protect thousands of American jobs. The House passed my bill with strong bipartisan support – sending a clear message to EPA that their previous rule, which threaten to shut down up to 20% of U.S. cement manufacturing plants – was unacceptable. With over 14 million Americans out of work, Congress must focus on removing burdensome regulations and barriers that are destroying American jobs. The simple fact is that cement is the backbone for the construction of our nation’s buildings, roads and bridges. My bill, which addressed EPA’s unworkable rules, was intended to ensure that the cement we use is made in America and not imported from China”
Knowing that there are only 118 plants, or mills, that manufacture cement in the U.S. – a loss of close to 23-24 plants would have been devastating to the industry and raised the cost of cement and concrete. Buying houses, building new buildings, the cost of government with the higher cost of cement impacting everything made of concrete like bridges and sewer system piping would have created another hammer blow to the economy.
With the high cost of building new cement kilns, and the EPA’s slamming anyone wishing to do so with years of paperwork, the supply will almost certainly be outreached by demand, keeping costs artificially higher. This new regulatory layer by the EPA would have driven those costs, already astronomical due to the artificially inflated gas prices being figured into the delivery charges, of even a cubic yard of concrete up to the heights of an entire monthly car payment.
Thank goodness the House stepped in and put pressure on the EPA to stop the destruction before it happened. Kudos to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Thanks to bombayharbor.com for the pic.