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The proposed standards for boilers and coal plants were both on a list of 10 “job destroying” regulations that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) issued in late August. Since then, he’s won at least two victories: In September the Obama administration announced it would halt a plan to tighten ozone restrictions nationwide, and last week House Republicans passed legislation that would prevent the administration from cracking down on farm dust — something the EPA has said it has no intention of doing.
“Cantor’s list helped focus attention on the fact that all these rules together have a pretty severe impact on jobs,” said Paul Bailey, senior vice president for federal affairs and policy at the coal coalition. “Of course, one could argue that having the regulations on a Republican hit list may not have helped” gain Democratic support.
Roll Call reported in September on the cement industry’s concern about similar regulations, which also appeared on the list.
Bailey said if industry groups do not win the delays this time around they will work to make the coal rule and other controversial EPA regulations a political problem for Democrats in 2012.
“This is the first time that EPA regulations could have a real impact on senatorial elections,” he said. “I have no doubt that there are a lot of Members of Congress — not just Republicans — [who] have a strong, sincere feeling that EPA is out of control right now.”