Whitfield: Attorneys General Confirm Overreach by Obama’s EPA on Coal-Fired Power Plant Regulations

September 13, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today released a white paper report by the Attorneys General from seventeen states and one senior environmental regulator relating to the Environmental Protection Agency ‘s (EPA) planned new regulations for existing electricity power plants fueled by coal. The coalition of Attorneys General express concern about whether in developing and implementing these regulations the EPA will adhere to the limitations of its authority under the Clean Air Act. 

“The Obama Administration continues to unilaterally bypass the role of the states, while stifling job creation by eliminating affordable energy through new regulations that will only be another blow to our fragile economy,” stated Whitfield. “The most frustrating part is the Administration is doing this with no public debate, and many in the United States Congress and individual states have been expressing deep concern about the impact that this will have on our ability to remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

As set forth in the white paper by the Attorneys General sent to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act is limited to developing a procedure for states to establish emissions standards for existing sources [such as existing coal-fired power plants].” Like Whitfield, the Attorneys General express concern over the impact that overreaching emissions standards on existing plants will have on the economy. They state that: “The elimination of coal as a fuel for new electric generation would have highly concerning implications for electricity prices and for the economy and job-creation in general, as well as the competitiveness of American manufacturing.”

Next Wednesday, Whitfield’s subcommittee will hold a hearing on the President’s climate change agenda. The subcommittee is seeking information and testimony regarding the Administration’s current and planned climate change activities, including standards for new and existing power plants. Whitfield is also seeking information regarding the impact that the President’s climate change agenda will have on states, the economy and job creation.

Just last week, the Department of Labor’s Jobs Report for August found that  the Labor Force Participation Rate, which identifies the number of people who are active participants in the labor force (relative to the total population), decreased from 63.4% in July to 63.2% in August. This is the lowest level since August, 1978, during the Carter Administration.

Read the white paper online here.

###