The House Energy and Power Subcommittee on Sept. 13 approved two bills that would delay the Environmental Protection Agency's implementation of rules setting maximum achievable control technology (MACT) and other standards for boilers and cement kilns. The two bills cleared the subcommittee by a voice vote that followed party lines.

The measures would require the EPA to replace existing regulations with a new set of rules that are intended to be achievable and that would provide industry facilities with more time to comply.

Proponents of the legislation said the EPA's current rules would cost jobs and are not realistically achievable. They also said the cement MACT rule would result in cement-plant closures, which could have a negative effect on the cost of cement in the U.S.

Democrats—including Henry Waxman (Calif.), the ranking member of the full Energy and Commerce Committee—opposed the bills, saying they would harm public health and would result in more confusion for facilities. EPA also has said it opposes the bills.