Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) talked about energy issues and rising debt levels.

While members of the door and window industry have moaned about over-regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for some time now, for the agency’s involvement in regulations such as the lead paint rule, Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) wasn’t shy about voicing those same frustrations today. He spoke before members of the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA) and the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) who are hosting their annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C., this week.

Walden, who serves on the Energy and Resources Committee, pointed out that 3,000 regulations are in the pipeline, 167 of which will have a major impact on the economy. He cited the EPA’s Boiler MACT rule as an example of one of these regulations that have a staggering impact on job creation and the economy. This is why he supports the Reins bill, which would change the legislative process so major regulations would be contingent on congressional approval.

EPA is an “agency gone wild,” said Rep. Walden. “They push the envelope on everything.”

Will things change as far as EPA over regulation? “The President can stop this but he has chosen not to,” he added.

“I wish we had an EPA that is helpful—not harmful,” said Rep. Walden. But perhaps there is hope.

“We used to have this problem with OSHA,” he said. “But then they started focusing on best practices. Why can’t EPA do that?”

He added that the “best thing you can do for the environment is to have a strong economy.”

Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) spoke to the association members today and also talked a great deal about energy issues, after all, energy initiatives was one of several initiatives that has fueled growth in the state in recent years. North Dakota is now the sixth fastest growing state, and one of three growing in manufacturing.

And while many talk of energy independence, Sen. Hoeven said this can be a real possibility in the near future.

“Together with Canada we can get to [North American] energy independence in five years and we can create a lot of jobs doing it—without paying anything,” said Sen. Hoeven.

Both legislators also spoke about the rising federal debt.

“By 2085 our debt to GDP ratio will be 352 percent,” said Rep. Walden. “The sooner we get working on that the better.”

“We have to stimulate private investment to get our country going and over time we will get out of our debt troubles,” added Sen. Hoeven.

“Our debt is out of control and we have to do entitlement reform,” he said. “It has to include reforms in discretionary spending.”

The senator asked the attendees if they favor tax reforms and many hands were raised.

The meetings continue today and tomorrow as many members have planned visits with their legislators.

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