It is no secret that many states have grave concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide, known as the Clean Power Plan. PACE, too, has been critical of the plan’s likely effect on U.S. power generation and electricity prices, testifying to EPA leaders in November of 2015 that the plan is a poor bargain for American consumers. Official remarks from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed that the sweeping and costly regulation would not cause any change to the agency’s 26 indicators of climate change.
Now, state leaders are sending a clear message to President-Elect Donald Trump’s administration: scrap the plan before it damages America’s energy sector.
In a December 14th letter addressed to Trump transition team leader Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, representatives of 24 states argue that the Clean Power Plan is unlawful, exceeding the power granted to EPA and usurping powers granted to the states to determine the most appropriate energy mix for their citizens. Playing lead roles on the letter were West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Currently, the Clean Power Plan is on pause, having been stayed by the United States Supreme Court in February. If implemented, though, it would require drastic reductions to carbon emissions from the energy sector, greatly limiting the ability of utilities to use coal-fired power plants for electricity generation. PACE has argued that EPA’s plan could take as much as 114 gigawatts of power generation offline, threatening the reliability of the U.S. power grid.
“The incoming administration and Congress now have the opportunity to withdraw this unlawful rule and prevent adoption of a similar rule in the future,” the letter states. “We urge the administration and Congress to work together with the States on four action to achieve that goal: (1) an executive order on day one rescinding President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum directing EPA to issue the Rule and instructing EPA to take no further action to enforce or implement the Rule; (2) formal administrative action to withdraw the Rule and related actions in court; (3) review of existing litigation; and (4) longer-term legislative action.”
Other states signing the letter include (alphabetically) Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.