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Graham challenges EPA leader's claims

Apr 19, 2010 11:25:00 PM - thestate.com
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham fired off a letter Monday to the Environmental Protection Agency seeking a list of South Carolina businesses that would be affected by rules to control global warming pollution.

Upset by remarks EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson made over the weekend in Columbia, Graham said he remains unconvinced that pending greenhouse gas regulations will affect only large industries. Small businesses also could be vulnerable to the EPA rules, he said.

"My belief is that she is giving assurances that will not withstand scrutiny," said the S.C. Republican, who wants Congress to pass a bill addressing greenhouse gases, instead of letting the EPA rules take effect. "I want to know with specificity, 'What companies in South Carolina do you intend to regulate first - and over time, who is next?'"

In an interview Sunday with The State newspaper, Jackson said the EPA rules will focus on large industries that produce about 80 percent of the greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S. She said the rules were mandated by a 2007 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but are not intended to regulate restaurants, apartment buildings and other small businesses - as Graham and state regulators said at a recent meeting in Columbia. They also said small farms, churches, schools and even homes could be affected.

"At this point in time, there's just no basis that says we're going to reach down to small businesses," Jackson told The State.