President Obama today announced a federal power plant emission plan that will result in higher energy bills for businesses and consumers.
According to the White House, the plan sets “achievable” standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
However, like most big government programs, these new regulations will drive up costs for consumers. They might even force some businesses to pull up stakes from America and move to other countries with less burdensome environmental regulations.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman said of the announcement:
Arkansans depend on our reliable and affordable source of electricity. Unfortunately, EPA’s proposal makes Arkansas families vulnerable to high energy costs, electricity blackouts and job cuts.
That pain falls hardest on low-income families and seniors living on a fixed-income who will be forced to pay more for electricity and many other essential needs. These news rules will drive industry overseas, hurting American workers and creating foreign factories that emit far more than we would.
We will fight this mandate in Congress and I suspect it will face strong legal challenges. The Clean Air Act was enacted to protect the public from harmful pollution. It was not intended to address climate change concerns. The Administration has once again overstepped it bounds to enact policy that Congress would reject.
The way to continue reducing emissions is through innovation, technology and positive incentives. Arkansans are willing to do their part to protect the environment but with commonsense policies. A real ‘clean power plan’ will encourage innovation and promote the use of our natural resources in all-of-the-above energy mix that includes renewables such as solar, wind, hydropower and biomass along with reliable sources like clean coal, emissions-free nuclear and clean natural gas.”
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman also said of the announcement:
While the president’s new energy tax may make his radical friends jump for joy, the reality is Arkansas residents, business owners and energy providers are going to feel the pinch of regulation. The added costs that result from complying with President Obama’s overreaching mandates are going to be passed on to consumers in Hot Springs, Hope, Monticello, Mansfield, and all parts of this great country. These rules could actually make the environment worse by pushing manufacturing and jobs to countries with little or no value for the environment. I will do everything in my power to stop the president’s energy tax on business and consumers. His actions are crushing the economy and shrinking wages. It is time for the overreach to stop.”
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said:
While I was pleased that the final rule extended the deadline and provided some relief, it is clear that the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan could still result in significant electric rate increases for middle-class ratepayers while having a minimal impact on global temperatures. My administration will do everything it can to protect ratepayers. This includes continuing to work with the Attorney General and urging Congress to act to protect ratepayers and to continue to pursue litigation in opposition to the burdensome regulation. While we will continue to fight the final rule, we will also work with our industries and consumers to determine a lowest cost option to compliance.
When it comes to Arkansas’s energy policy, we must take a balanced approach in consideration of safety, reliability, cost-effectiveness and environmental impact. This is why I have directed leadership at the Public Service Commission and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to fully review this rule and develop the best response for our state.”
Many businesses and states have already announced that they plan to sue the federal government in an attempt to stop Obama’s plan from being put into effect. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said she’d take “any and all appropriate legal action” to prevent implementation of the plan.