In recent days, U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, introduced the Ratepayer Protection Act, legislation that would protect consumers from the potential negative consequences of the EPA’s new carbon dioxide mandate. The Act appear to have gained traction, with the Subcommittee yesterday approving the measure by a vote of 17 to 12. The Act works by allowing for judicial review of any final rule before requiring states to comply with the new mandate. A backgrounder on the Act is available here.
“EPA’s proposed rule is riddled with problems and faces an uphill battle in the courts. Just last week we heard powerful testimony on the legal and implementation challenges, and it is clear this unprecedented power grab cannot stand,” explained Rep. Whitfield. “My commonsense legislation will protect states and their citizens from EPA’s damaging overreach, and I look forward to working with my colleagues in advancing it.”
This past July, PACE gave testimony to EPA regarding its carbon dioxide, arguing that reducing the emission of carbon dioxide from the power sector by 30% by 2030 would place undue burdens on families and businesses. A full copy of PACE’s testimony is available here.
“When asked if EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide would cause any measurable change in the agency’s 26 indicators of climate change, Administrator McCarthy said they would not. Rather, she explained, a carbon rule only works if other nations adopt the same policies,” PACE’s testimony explained. “She rationalized that the administration’s carbon dioxide regulation ‘positions the U.S. for leadership’. In short, this rule is only leverage.”
EPA’s carbon dioxide mandate still faces many legal challenges and could ultimately be struck down by the courts. Despite the specter of a legal challenge, EPA still plans to compel states to move forward with compliance and submit costly implementation plans, or become subject to a federal plan, before the litigation is resolved. The Ratepayer Protection Act would resolve that by allowing for judicial review prior to requiring state compliance.
Full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) adds, “This bill is about protecting families and jobs. It gives states the time they need before this expensive and legally shaky new rule puts affordable, reliable power at risk. I thank Rep. Whitfield for putting forward this legislation as we continue our work to keep the lights on and electric bills affordable.”