National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Vice President for Energy & Resources Policy Keith McCoy issued the following statement in response to the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to require large industrial facilities to obtain construction and operating permits that demonstrate they are using the best practices and technologies to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The EPA’s legal authority to exempt small manufacturers and businesses from permits mandated by the Clean Air Act is unclear at best. This new rule is a slippery slope that could lead to costly economy-wide regulation of “stationary sources” such as small factories, hospitals and farms. Congress, not the EPA, is the appropriate authority for amending the Clean Air Act.

The NAM opposes use of the Clean Air Act as a means of regulating GHG emissions. The announcement from the EPA sets the stage for regulation of large industrial sources that will add significant costs to manufacturers as they struggle to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. The proposed rule establishes a precedent for economy-wide regulation that will cost jobs and hurt the nation’s economy at the worst possible time.