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States Object to EPA Power Plan

Sep 11, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – The Subcommittee on Environment today convened a hearing to examine the impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) power plan regulation and expected impacts to the states most affected. The Obama administration is preparing final steps before implementing the rule to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, which could take effect as early as October.

The final regulation released by EPA on August 3rd created emissions requirements with more stringent emissions guidelines for states that rely most heavily on fossil energy for electricity. Western and Midwestern states are required to cut their use of fossil energy the most under this final rule, with over 20 states facing carbon reductions greater than 30 percent of current output.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “The Obama administration ignored the outcry from stakeholders and the American public when it issued the final rule on its Power Plan. It is well documented that the final plan will shut down power plants across the country, increase electricity prices and cost thousands of Americans their jobs. My home state of Texas would be one of the hardest hit.  The state would be forced to close affordable coal-fired power plants, which also provide reliable electricity during peak usage times in the summer. This rule represents massive costs without significant benefits.  In other words, it’s all pain and no gain.”

Environment Subcommittee Chairman Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.): “We have a rule that will place tremendous costs on the American people for very little benefit. States are uniquely positioned to protect the environment in their states and support their local economies – a key fact the EPA disregarded in promulgating this rule. My home state of Oklahoma, which has been leading the charge against EPA’s onerous rule, recognizes that this rule will harm reliability and impose massive costs on its citizens.  I applaud Oklahoma’s efforts to fight against the EPA and its activist, overbearing regulatory agenda.”

The Committee today received testimony from Dr. Bryan Shaw, Chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; Mr. Craig Butler, Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency; and Mr. Jason Eisdorfer, Utility Program Director of the Oregon Public Utility Commission.

Dr. Shaw: “The rule is still riddled with technical flaws that make it impractical and/or impossible to implement, and the EPA has not given states, especially Texas, nearly enough time to formulate and submit a state plan. And all this when even the EPA acknowledges that this rule will not have a single discernible impact on climate change or sea level rise. I would be derelict in my duty to protect the TCEQ’s mission if I did not make plain this Rule’s shortcomings.”

Mr. Butler: “Ohio has striven to revive its manufacturing output over the last few years. Driven by affordable and reliable power, countless energy intensive industries including auto manufacturing, iron, steel, and glass production reside in Ohio. While working to revive our manufacturing output, Ohio has achieved significant emission reductions from our coal-fired power plants. Between 2005 and 2014, carbon dioxide emissions from these units were reduced by approximately 30 percent. I strongly believe the Clean Power Plan (CPP) is not the answer. With unresolved legal challenges, along with substantial changes between the draft and final proposal, U.S. EPA should hold off on implementing the final CPP until legal challenges are resolved or reissue the final CPP as a proposed action.”

For more information about today’s hearing, including the webcast and witness testimony, visit the Committee’s website.

114th Congress