Companies give GOP, regulators, different messages

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Large and small companies have told Republican-led congressional committees what the party wants to hear: dire predictions of plant closings and layoffs if the Obama administration succeeds with plans to further curb air and water pollution.

But their message to financial regulators and investors conveys less gloom and certainty.

The administration has clouded the picture by withdrawing or postponing some of the environmental initiatives that industry labeled as being among the most onerous.

Still, Republicans plan to make what they call regulatory overreach a 2012 campaign issue.

The Associated Press compared the companies’ congressional testimony to company reports submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reports to the SEC consistently said the impact of environmental proposals is unknown or would not cause serious financial harm to a firm’s finances.