Western Caucus Members Applaud EPA Action to Repeal Obama Administration’s Job-Killing ‘Clean Power Plan’

– Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Paul A. Gosar D.D.S. (AZ-04), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01), Western Caucus Executive Vice-Chairman Scott Tipton (CO-03), Chairman Emeritus Steve Pearce (NM-02), House Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21), and Western Caucus members Adrian Smith (NE-02), Liz Cheney (WY-At Large), Greg Gianforte (MT-At Large), Brian Babin (TX-36), Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), Trent Franks (AZ-08), Mike Johnson (LA-04), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Jody Hice (GA-10), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Kevin Cramer (ND-At Large), and Tom Emmer (MN-06) released the following statements after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt provided a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which will effectively cancel the Obama Administration’s ‘Clean Power Plan’:

“Not long after President Obama took office, he tried to pass legislation through Congress that would have given the EPA authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through a cap-and-trade program. Despite 60 Democrats holding office in the Senate at the time, the Senate decisively rejected the cap-and-tax plans proposed by the president,” said Chairman Gosar. “Rather than pursuing a true all-of-the-above energy plan that lowered costs for consumers and put us on the path towards energy independence, the Obama Administration continued to churn out new regulations and distort others as the means to accomplish the president’s ideological agenda. The so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ was no exception. It picked winners and losers at the expense of American job creators. I applaud Administrator Pruitt and the Trump Administration for acting to roll back this unconstitutional and fundamentally-flawed Obama mandate.”   

Majority Whip Scalise stated, "Just like so many of the Obama administration's radical regulations, the Clean Power Plan rule was a Washington power grab that killed jobs and imposed higher costs on American families. I applaud the Trump administration's decision to reverse this misguided rule so hard-working families get some financial relief and American energy producers once again have the ability to grow and create more jobs, putting our nation on the path to energy dominance while providing affordable energy prices for all Americans.”

Congressman Tipton said, “I am a strong proponent of a responsible all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy that includes emerging technologies, renewables and traditional resources to produce affordable and reliable electricity for all Americans. The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, however, and that is exactly what the previous administration did with this overreaching rule. The administration’s roll back of this flawed rule will protect jobs in rural communities and Americans who are already struggling to make ends meet from a punitive spike in their energy bills.”

“New Mexicans deserve reliable and affordable energy without job-killing restrictions that cripple economic opportunity in our state and across the nation. By cutting government red tape and eliminating unnecessary regulations like the Clean Power Plan, we can gain momentum towards an ‘all the above’ energy plan that creates jobs and sustains low energy prices for all Americans. This action by the EPA today will return power back to the states where it belongs, so economies, like ours in New Mexico, can become stronger and more competitive. It is my hope that New Mexico can have the opportunity to become a greater leader in our domestic energy development and production,” said Congressman Pearce.

“Today's repeal of the so-called Clean Power Plan marks the next crucial step in a new era of transparency based on sound science,” said Congressman Lamar Smith. Through several hearings and oversight of the former administration's overregulation, the Science Committee revealed the faulty, one-sided calculations that the Obama administration employed to justify its Clean Power Plan. We have repeatedly found that the costs imposed on the American people vastly outweigh the rule’s marginal benefits. President Trump and Administrator Pruitt have reviewed the data and chosen to unburden our citizens rather than perpetuate a politically motivated rule that would result in minimal environmental benefits. Our nation can now move forward and develop smart, transparent policies that carry out President Trump’s America First energy strategy and relieve the American people of undue burdens.”

Congressman Adrian Smith stated, “President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ threatened to force hundreds of coal-fired power plants to shut their doors, driving up energy costs across America.  Those hurt the most by these misguided, job-killing policies are typically the ones who can afford it least.  I was pleased to see President Trump issue an executive order earlier this year requiring the EPA to re-evaluate these regulations, and by signing this proposed repeal, Administrator Pruitt is following through on his commitment to rein in the EPA’s red tape factory and empowering states to pursue responsible energy development.”

"EPA Administrator Pruitt's decision to repeal the Obama Administration's disastrous “clean power plan” is an important and necessary step towards reversing the harmful Obama-era policies that strangled our economy. Wyoming's communities and fossil fuel industry were hit the hardest by Obama's anti-coal agenda for the past eight years. For too long the clean power plan killed jobs and needlessly wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in an unsuccessful attempt to increase renewable energy and decrease fossil fuels," said Congresswoman Cheney.

Congressman Gianforte stated, “The previous administration’s top-down, Washington-centered approach out of the EPA imposed a heavy burden on hardworking Montana families. Its relentless federal overreach threatened our livelihood and our way of life. Today, Montanans welcome much needed regulatory relief with Administrator Pruitt’s announcement that the war on coal is over.”

“I applaud President Trump’s decision to restore common sense at the EPA and put America’s citizens and jobs first.  This Obama-era policy would have taken money from the pockets of American workers, unnecessarily harmed seniors and those living on fixed incomes and put American workers at a competitive disadvantage – all for little to no benefit to the environment,” said Congressman Babin.

“After its review of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan, the EPA finds that the rule is a flagrant abuse of power by the former administration, just like the Supreme Court did when it ruled a historic stay on the unlawful rule in 2016,” said Congressman Markwayne Mullin.  “The Clean Power Plan threatens the reliability of our energy resources, forces a tremendous regulatory burden on their production, raises electric costs for hardworking Americans, and puts good paying jobs at risk.  It’s great to see the EPA start to roll back the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan rule so we can provide dependable, affordable energy that American families can count on.”

“The Clean Power Plan made energy expensive, causing average Americans to pay more for less power. Why do government agencies feel the need to squeeze regular American consumers to push their scientifically unproven climate change agenda? Moreover, the Clean Power Plan has been challenged in the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional and unlawful. The Trump administration is right to correct the previous administration’s overreach,” stated Congressman Franks.

“The Obama administration's Clean Power Plan was an egregious overreach by the federal government that overburdened those in the energy sector and forced many out of jobs. Rather than hindering our businesses with excessive regulation, the Trump administration is unleashing the free market again and putting America first with the repeal of this ill-advised rule,” said Congressman Mike Johnson.

 Congressman Biggs said, “I commend the Trump Administration’s announcement that it will end the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.  American energy independence is critical for sustained economic success and should not be hindered by unelected bureaucrats.”

“Balancing environmental protection with economic growth is vital for future generations,” said Congressman Hice. “Unfortunately, President Obama’s top-down approach under the Clean Power Plan was deeply flawed and yet another blatant regulatory overreach by his administration. Instead of protecting the public interest, it picked winners and losers, jeopardized jobs, and curbed economic growth. I applaud President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for reversing course, which will ultimately create new jobs and spur the energy sector.”

 Congressman LaMalfa said, “The Clean Power Plan has a nice sounding name, but in reality, it’s a prime example of burdensome and unnecessary regulation on America’s energy industry. The Obama Administration repeatedly overstepped its authority and ignored the longstanding limits to Executive power, and now we must right the ship. The Implementation of this rule has already been halted by a number of court decisions – including by the Supreme Court. It’s estimated that this rule would costs billions of dollars in compliance costs alone, not to mention the crippling effect on U.S. energy production and global competitiveness. This is the sort of job-killing power grab that the American people cannot and should not accept. I applaud Administrator Pruitt and the EPA for proposing to repeal this rule before it takes effect, and I look forward to a rulemaking process that is transparent and takes into account the needs and input of states before imposing heavy-handed regulations that leave American workers and energy production out in the cold.”

Congressman Cramer said, “President Trump and his Administration have come through for North Dakota, and frankly for energy consumers throughout our country. It has always been clear to North Dakotans that the EPA has overreached its legal authority by going outside the fence line of individual power plants and North Dakota is a good example of arbitrary and capricious emissions standards.”

“The Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan - which was estimated to cost more than $30 billion dollars - was promulgated without Congressional approval, making it the perfect example of federal overreach. It has been proven time and time again that a one-size-fits-all policy does not work for our state and I am pleased the Trump Administration has taken this step. I am proud that Minnesota companies and elected officials have taken it upon themselves to work to reduce carbon emissions without the heavy hand of the federal government demanding so. I applaud the decision to roll back the overreaching Clean Power Plan, and look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration towards an all-of-the-above energy plan so that we can maintain a prosperous economy and healthy environment that generations to come can enjoy,” concluded Congressman Emmer.


Courtesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), proposing to repeal the so-called “Clean Power Plan (CPP).”  After reviewing the CPP, EPA has proposed to determine that the Obama-era regulation exceeds the Agency’s statutory authority. Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence.

On March 28, President Trump signed an Executive Order on Energy Independence, establishing a national policy in favor of energy independence, economic growth, and the rule of law. The purpose of the Executive Order (EO) is to facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources. That same day, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt signed four Federal Register notices in response to the EO, including a formal announcement of review of the Clean Power Plan. After substantial review, the Agency has proposed to determine that the Clean Power Plan (CPP) must be repealed.

CPP Appears to be Inconsistent with the Clean Air Act

The CPP, issued by the Obama administration, was premised on a novel and expansive view of Agency authority that the Trump administration now proposes to determine is inconsistent with the Clean Air Act.  In fact, the CPP was put on hold in February 2016, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented, historic stay of the rule.

The CPP was issued pursuant to a novel and expansive view of authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).  The CPP required regulated entities to take actions “outside the fence line.” Traditionally, EPA Section 111 rules were based on measures that could be applied to, for, and at a particular facility, also referred to as “inside the fence line” measures. Prior to the CPP being issued, every single Section 111 rule on the books, including a handful of existing source rules and around 100 new-source rules, obeyed this limit. As the CPP departed from this traditional limit on EPA’s authority under an “inside the fence line” interpretation, EPA is proposing to repeal it. 

EPA has now sent the NPRM to the Federal Register for publication.  Upon publication, the public will have 60 days to submit comments. 

The repeal package includes:

  1. The “preamble,” which lays out the proposed legal interpretation, policy implications, and a summary of the cost-benefits analysis of the proposed repeal; and
  2. The “Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA),” an in-depth cost-benefit technical analysis.

CPP Repeal Saves up to $33 Billion in Avoided Costs in 2030 

The proposed repeal both examines the Obama administration’s cost-benefit analysis, as well as provides insights to support an updated analysis of the environmental, health, and economic effects of the proposed repeal. The Trump administration estimates the proposed repeal could provide up to $33 billion in avoided compliance costs in 2030.

The previous administration’s estimates and analysis of these costs and benefits was, in multiple areas, highly uncertain and/or controversial.  Specific areas of controversy and/or uncertainty in the Obama administration’s analysis of CPP include:

Domestic versus global climate benefits: The previous administration compared U.S. costs to an estimate of supposed global benefits, and failed to follow well-established economic procedures in estimating those benefits.

“Co-benefits” from non-greenhouse-gas pollutants:  The Obama administration relied heavily on reductions in other pollutants emitted by power plants, essentially hiding the true net cost of the CPP by claiming benefits from reducing pollutants that had nothing to do with the rule’s stated purpose. 

Energy cost and savings accounting: The Obama administration counted “energy efficiency” results of their rule as an avoided cost, resulting in a cost estimate being considerably lower than it would have been if they used the appropriate practice of considering these effects as benefits, rather than subtracting them from costs. Had the Obama administration used the Office of Management and Budget’s longstanding requirements and accounted cost and savings accordingly, it would have presented a more accurate accounting of the total cost of the CPP.

In this proposed repeal and its accompanying technical documents, this administration is, in a robust, open, and transparent way, presenting a wide range of analysis scenarios to the public.

As part of the notice-and-comment process for this proposed repeal, EPA will continue this analysis and inform the public, as necessary, to get feedback on new modeling and other information. The final action on this proposed repeal will address the results of this ongoing work.

Western Caucus Analysis:

President Obama unveiled final rules (known collectively as the ‘Clean Power Plan’, or CPP) to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing power plants in August of 2015. The Supreme Court issued a stay on the Obama rule in February of 2016, temporarily blocking implementation of these onerous regulations.

The impractical new mandates called for a 32% cut nationwide in CO2 emissions by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels. They would have placed unrealistic regulatory burdens on states, caused electricity rates to rise nationwide and increased vulnerability of our electric grid. Its requirements were so severe that the CPP would have single-handedly caused every coal plant in Arizona to shut its doors. The story is much the same in other states housing energy producers.

American families were projected to lose almost $600 billion in disposable income as a result of the CPP. An economic analysis also found that this top-down mandate would have killed 226,000 jobs annually and the U.S. economy $50 billion each year.

In response, the U.S. Congress spoke with one voice and rejected the final rules through use of the Congressional Review Act. The Senate voted on November 17, 2015 to reject the CPP and the House quickly followed suit on December 1, 2015. Even though a majority of both Houses of Congress – responding to the warnings of catastrophic economic ramifications by energy experts and economists – rejected these onerous rules, President Obama nonetheless vetoed the bill that reached his desk.



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