The AP (6/25, Daly) reports that on Wednesday, the House voted 247-180 for a plan to allow states to opt out of the Administration’s plan to “limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants if the state’s governor determines it would cause significant rate hikes for electricity or harm reliability of service.” The bill, which the White House has threatened to veto, would also “delay the climate rule until all court challenges are completed.”
The Hill (6/25, Cama) reports that multiple conservative congressmen spoke against the EPA’s proposed climate regulations before the vote. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairman of the Energy and Commerce subcommittee on power, said that the EPA’s move “is a radical regulation that will dramatically transform the way electricity is produced and regulated in America,” while Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) said that the EPA has “picked up a shotgun and pointed it at the heart of the American economy.”
In a separate piece, The Hill (6/25, Cama, Marcos) reports in its “Floor Action” blog that the bill is a “major blow to the main pillar” of the President’s effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The GOP “believes that the rule will not withstand judicial review, so the delay is designed to ensure that the regulation never takes effect.”
The House approved bill, known as the Ratepayer Protection Act, will now go to the Senate, where Republicans are also working on a bill “to suspend” the EPA’s new carbon rule, POWER (6/25, Patel) reports. Beyond opposition form GOP congressmen, the article notes that a document originating from the Institute for 21st Century Energy stated that “28 state governors or attorneys general have raised major concerns” about legal foundation for EPA’s proposed rule.
Eisenberg Applauds House Action To Promote Regulatory Certainty. A statement by National Association of Manufacturers (6/25, Micetich) Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg noted the manufactures need “balanced regulations” related to greenhouse gas emissions that “allow for innovation and access to affordable and reliable energy.” To that end, Eisenberg applauds the House for taking a step in right direction by “passing legislation that will create more certainty for state governments and manufacturers,” adding that “Manufacturers now look to the Senate for leadership and action” on this “critical” matter.
WSJournal Highlights Schumer’s Backing Of Carbon Tax. In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal (6/25, Subscription Publication) reports that Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) is in line to be the next Democratic leader in the Senate, and he is already predicting that in 2017, there will be bipartisan support for a carbon tax. The Journal says that it would see a carbon tax as acceptable as long as it was part of broader tax reform that eliminated other sources of revenue entirely, such as corporate taxes or payroll taxes.
Indiana Governor Says State Will Resist EPA Unless Rules Are “Significantly Improved.” The Hill (6/25, Cama) reports that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) has sent a letter to President Obama informing him that the state has not decided if it will follow the federal government’s climate change regulations. “If your administration proceeds to finalize the Clean Power Plan, and the final rule has not demonstrably and significantly improved from the proposed rule, Indiana will not comply,” the letter reads. Pence maintains that the regulation is an illegal overreach, and thus his state would not have to comply with the constitutional supremacy of the federal government. The Indianapolis (IN) Star (6/25, Groppe) notes that Pence writes that the state “will also reserve the right to use any legal means available to block the rule from being implemented.”