U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo - 
Listen To The Story

Jeremy Hobson: We are just five days away from a potential government shutdown. That's if Republicans and Democrats in Washington can't agree on billions of dollars in cuts before then. The cuts being considered would affect all kinds of programs -- including the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases.

As Marketplace's Nancy Marshall Genzer reports from Washington, that fight has lobbyists and manufacturers working overtime.

Advertisement: Times are tough. So why is the EPA pushing new regulations that could force businesses to close?

Nancy Marshall Genzer: The National Association of Manufacturers has been running that ad in industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, where incumbent Democrats, including President Obama, are vulnerable.

Association lobbyist Alicia Meads.

Alicia Meads: Profit margins are extremely tight right now and we feel that these regulations are hurting that more and will cause job loss.

Frank O'Donnell heads the environmental group Clean Air Watch. He says the EPA regulations would save manufacturers money. They would have to be more energy efficient. That means lower power bills.

Frank O'Donnell: To hear these crazy horror stories from the business community just makes my head spin because it's like a bizarro world.

These arguments have even wormed their way into the budget negotiations. Some Republicans have insisted that legislation limiting the EPA's power be part of any eventual budget compromise.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.