Congressman Smith Supports Bill to Empower States over EPA Regulations

Wednesday, I praised H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015 in a hearing on the economic impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to regulate power plants. The bill, which passed in the House, would give states flexibility and even exemptions from federal regulations if a state’s governor determines that such plans would increase electricity prices. The purpose of today’s hearing was to examine a U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) report Chairman Smith requested in August 2014 and that was released last month.

The president’s Power Plan is nothing more than a ‘Power Grab’ to give the government more control over Americans’ daily lives. These regulations stifle economic growth, destroy American jobs, and increase energy prices. That means everything will cost more – from electricity to gasoline to food. The EPA should not saddle the American people with extensive and burdensome regulations, especially if the regulations have little environmental impact. This bill allows states to decide whether the so-called Clean Power Plan is in the best interest of the state, given the tremendous costs it will impose on American families.

The EPA’s plan would require states to meet requirements for carbon emissions from electricity generating units. The EIA found that the rule would have a significant impact in retiring a large number of coal-fired power plants and that electricity prices would significantly increase by up to 7% annually, with certain regions seeing increases even greater than the average projections.


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