June 26, 2024

Cassidy, Kennedy, Colleagues Introduce Resolution to Reverse Unscientific EPA Rule Crushing America’s Chemical Industry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Mike Braun (R-IN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule that restricts the production of chemicals that are essential to America’s economy and national security. U.S. House of Representative Clay Higgins (R-LA-03) introduce companion legislation in the House of Representatives.

“This new regulation not only perpetuates Biden’s war on the American worker, but also on patients’ health,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This will have devastating impacts on chemical and medical manufacturing in the U.S., worsening shortages, and threatening the lives of Americans who need access to these critical supplies.”

“The EPA’s burdensome regulation of American chemical producers is just the latest example of the Biden administration’s determination to kill American jobs and manufacturing. Congress cannot allow unelected bureaucrats at the EPA to use flawed data to hamstring Louisiana’s chemical industry and hinder American manufacturers’ ability to access the chemicals they need to keep our economy humming,” said Senator Kennedy.

“The Biden administration continues to put America last through their Green New Deal, job-killing energy policies. The implications of this rule undermine American jobs and domestic manufacturing. While it is important that we take a balanced approach when considering the environmental impacts of our energy resources, we cannot forcibly shut down companies that do not align with agenda-driven leftist policies. We must prioritize America first,” said Representative Higgins.

“ACC and our members appreciate Senator Kennedy for his leadership to advance science-based rulemaking and to protect American innovation. While we appreciate some of the changes EPA made to the final rule, the Agency still relies on severely flawed science and outdated facility emissions data. This jeopardizes access to critical chemistries needed for our national priorities, including healthcare access, electric vehicles, and semiconductors. We urge Congress to pass this bicameral resolution and look forward to continuing to engage with EPA to develop science-based regulations that support American competitiveness,” said Chris Jahn, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council.


  • The EPA recently released the final rule on “New Source Performance Standards for the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry and National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturing Industry and Group I & II Polymers and Resins Industry.”
  • The new rule will subject producers of ethylene oxide, neoprene and other important manufacturing materials to strict emissions limits that make it harder for manufacturers to produce affordable chemicals in the U.S. The new rule targets more than 200 American chemical plants, including several in Louisiana.
  • The Biden administration based the new emissions thresholds on information from the EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS). Congress never authorized IRIS or gave the EPA authority to use its assessments in regulations.
  • The EPA designed IRIS to compile peer-reviewed data about the chemicals’ potential health hazards that reflected a consensus among scientists. In recent years, however, IRIS has departed from this standard and prioritized widely criticized studies in order to allow the EPA to attack chemicals it dislikes. 
  • Producers use ethylene oxide, for example, to sterilize surgical equipment. In a recent assessment, IRIS set an acceptable limit of ethylene oxide at a level that is 19,000 times lower than what the human body produces naturally. 
  • Beyond setting impossibly low emissions levels, the EPA has also given American businesses just 90 days to comply with the new thresholds. One Louisiana neoprene producer said the tight EPA deadline will cause “irreparable harm” to the industry and force the facility to close.