NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Obama Seeks to Nationalize Each State's Electric Power Sector

April 24, 2015

A new publication by Texas Public Policy Foundation's distinguished senior fellow Kathleen Harnett White identifies key points in the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP).

Consider:

  • The EPA's Clean Power Plan (CPP) is a sweeping as­sertion of federal power over states to radically overhaul the entire system of electric power.
  • The federal government has nationalized the health care system through ObamaCare and nationalized banks through Dodd Frank. Now, the EPA would nationalize each state's electric-power sector.
  • But there is a huge distinction between these laws and the proposed rule: ObamaCare and Dodd Frank Con­gress enacted new federal law. Here, with no new law, EPA has acted in spite of Congress's continual refusal to regulate CO2.
  • The rule's purpose is to reduce carbon dioxide from the electric power sector by 30 percent. When you do the climate arithmetic, this rule would reduce supposed glob­al warming by 0.02 degrees Celsius. This is an irrelevant change.
  • Compliance with the EPA's require­ments would cede fundamental state authority over elec­tric utilities. Commissioner Tony Clark of FERC testified to Congress that the EPA's rule fundamentally re-orders the longstanding relation between the feds and states to create a "mother-may-I" relationship that has never be­fore existed.

One of the nation's preeminent Constitutional schol­ars, Laurence Tribe at Harvard Law School, denounced this rule. His Wall Street Jounral editorial recently stated, "Frustration with congressional inaction cannot justify throwing the Constitution overboard to rescue this lawless EPA pro­posal."

Source: Kathleen Harnett White, "The Facts About the Clean Power Act," Texas Public Policy Foundation, April 2015. 

 

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