WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), today held a hearing examining the administration’s cap and trade rules. On August 3, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two final rules and a third proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. These regulations are expected to change the way we generate, distribute, and consume electricity here in the United States and are a threat to ratepayers and grid reliability across the country.
Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) highlighted just how many regulations have devastated the coal industry in West Virginia, “Here’s this list…it’s a 23 foot long list of over 1500 regulations that have been imposed under this administration on coal mines, and coal companies, and the coal miners. It’s no wonder they can’t find jobs.”
Chairman Whitfield stated, “This EPA has become the political arm of the White House issuing regulations by fiat. I believe that this regulatory version of cap and trade is every bit as inflexible and unworkable as the legislative version that I voted against. And I might add that there are many reasons to question the legality of this unprecedented set of regulations. Few if any of the concerns about the proposed existing source rule were addressed in the final version and the reasons for the Ratepayer Protection Act are still applicable.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), concluded, “As it is, electricity rates have risen in recent years, and other EPA regulations have been a contributor. The administration’s cap and trade scheme will further add to this burden that disproportionately hurts low-income households and will continue to threaten grid reliability across the country. At a time when our fragile economic recovery is teetering on the edge amidst global market volatility, EPA’s regulations on their own do significant damage – but cumulatively they will break the camel’s back.”