States Taking a Stand Against New EPA Rules
May 21, 2015
In late April, Governor Mary Fallin (R-OK) issued Executive Order 2015-22, regarding Oklahoma's compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP). Arguing that "the EPA has exceeded its authority under the Clean Air Act", the executive order prohibits Oklahoma's Department of Environmental Quality from participating in any manner with the development of plans to implement CPP regulations in the state.
Texas Governor Abbott also joined efforts against the EPA, with the Governor's press advisory stating that "The EPA's newest suite of rules, led by the Clean Power Plan, seeks unprecedented control over the State's energy mix that will certainly result in higher energy prices for Texans ... killing jobs and stagnating Texas' unprecedented economic growth." Texas and Oklahoma are not alone. According to one survey, there are today 32 states "in which elected officials (e.g., legislatures, governors, and/or attorneys general) have expressed firm opposition" to the CPP.
Several U.S. senators proposed legislation to combat the EPA's latest attempt to reduce greenhouse gases at existing power plants. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee, along with six other senators, introduced the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA).
Key points in the ARENA:
- Extend the CPP's compliance deadlines, including State Implementation Plan (SIP) deadlines, pending review by federal courts.
- No state could be forced to implement a SIP or a Federal Implementation Plan if that state's governor concludes that so doing would harm the state's economy.
- Prohibit the EPA from withholding federal highway funds from states found not to be in compliance with the CPP.
- Mandate the EPA report to Congress the amount of greenhouse-gas emissions the CPP is forecast to reduce and the methodology grounding the conclusions.
Source: Thomas K. Lindsay, "Rising Resistance to EPA's Clean Power Plan," Real Clear Policy, May 20, 2015.
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