U.S. House Passes ALEC-Inspired TRAIN Act

On September 23, the House of Representatives passed the American Legislative Exchange Council-inspired "Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act" and forwarded it to the Senate.

Koch-owned Georgia-Pacific plant in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Courtesy of the Capital Times.On September 8, the Center for Media and Democracy reported on House Majority Leader and ALEC alumnus Eric Cantor pushing ALEC's federal agenda vis-a-vis the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On September 13, we reported on the heavy funding of ALEC alumni like Cantor and Speaker of the House John Boehner by corporate members of ALEC.

The TRAIN Act, introduced by ALEC alumnus Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK), "would create a special committee to oversee the EPA's rules and regulations, and require the agency to consider economic impacts on polluters when it sets standards concerning how much air pollution is too much."

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Not only does this act conform to ALEC's "Resolution Opposing EPA's Regulatory Train Wreck" and the accompanying report, "EPA's Regulatory Train Wreck," but another piece of ALEC "model" legislation, the "Environmental Priorities Act," would create for the states the same sort of assessment committee that the TRAIN Act would create at the federal level.

Courtesy of Think ProgressIndeed, ALEC published a press release that "applauds the passage of H.R. 2401, the ... TRAIN Act. ... As unemployment still hovers around 9 percent, it is imperative to fully assess the impact on the electricity prices, reliability and the overall American economy."

Multiple studies, including the Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) May study and the Political Economy Research Institute's (PERI) February study, have found that EPA regulations such as those halted by the TRAIN Act would provide long-term economic benefits and create "highly skilled, well paying jobs through infrastructure investment" (PERI, "New Jobs--Cleaner Air," p. 1).