Committee Votes to Protect Ratepayers
WASHINGTON, DC – The House Energy and Commerce Committee today voted to approve H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act, by a vote of 28 to 22. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN), empowers states to protect families and businesses from higher electricity rates, diminished electric reliability, and other damaging effects of EPA’s 111(d) rule for existing power plants, referred to by the agency as the Clean Power Plan.
The Ratepayer Protection Act requires judicial review of the rule to be completed before states are compelled to comply. It also provides a safe harbor for states, ensuring that no state will be forced to implement a state or federal plan if the governor finds it would significantly harm energy affordability or reliability. To learn more about this commonsense solution, click HERE.
"I thank my colleagues for joining me in support of this practical solution to protect ratepayers from EPA’s unprecedented 111(d) rule. This bill does not repeal the Clean Power Plan, nor does it preclude a state from moving forward and implementing EPA’s rule. It simply allows states to prevent the proposed rule from imposing unnecessary economic hardship," said Whitfield.
"The courts ought to have their say on the legality of the so-called Clean Power Plan before states implement and those who pay an electric bill are required to spend a significant amount of money. I am convinced, based on the law and prior court opinions, that EPA does not have authority to enact its Clean Power Plan under 111(d). Committee passage of the Ratepayer Protection Act is an important step toward safeguarding ratepayers as the court cases proceed," said Griffith.
"As our fragile economic recovery keeps sputtering along, the last thing families and job creating businesses need is higher electric bills. The Ratepayer Protection Act provides reasonable safeguards against the risks to ratepayers of EPA’s Clean Power Plan," added House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).
The committee has held five hearings on EPA’s 111(d) rule since it was initially proposed, which have identified the fundamental legal flaws of the plan, the many implementation challenges, the pressing reliability concerns, and the significant economic harm to ratepayers. At a hearing on the Ratepayer Protection Act, energy economist Eugene Trisko testified on a study estimating that electricity rates under the Clean Power Plan would increase by an average of 15 percent in a majority of states.