Senate votes to strike down GHG rules

Early today (Wednesday), AIM president Ray McCarty received the following message from National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Director of Energy and Resources Policy Greg Bertelsen:

Partnership Members,

Late yesterday, the Senate approved resolutions to strike down both, EPA’s GHG rule for new and modified power plants, and its rule for existing power plants (“Clean Power Plan”). Both resolutions passed on largely party-line votes of 52-46. Three Democrats (Manchin, Donnelly and Heitkamp) voted in favor of the resolutions and three Republicans voted in opposition of the resolutions (Ayotte, Kirk and Collins). Prior to the votes, the Partnership submitted the attached letter of support for both resolutions to all Senate offices. Thanks everyone for all of your outreach to Senate offices leading up to the votes.

The House is expected to take up similar measures after Thanksgiving break.

The “partnership” Bertelsen refers to is the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, of which AIM is a member. Here is the “attached letter” Bertelsen referenced.

November 17, 2015

TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. SENATE:

The Partnership for a Better Energy Future (the Partnership), a coalition of business organizations representing over 80 percent of the U.S. economy, writes in strong support of S.J.Res.23 and S.J.Res.24, Congressional Resolutions of Disapproval under the Congressional Review Act, for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for new, reconstructed or significantly modified power plants (New Source Rule), and existing power plants (Clean Power Plan).

Established in January 2014, the Partnership’s fundamental mission is to promote an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that ensures the continued availability of reliable and affordable energy for American families and businesses. The Partnership totals 177 members, which include national organizations as well as state and local associations in 36 different states. All are united by widespread concerns that the administration’s carbon regulations on power plants—as well as EPA’s broader GHG regulatory agenda—present a significant threat to American jobs and the economy.

These threats are well-documented. For example, a recent study by NERA Economic Consulting found that EPA’s Clean Power Plan would impose up to $292 billion in compliance costs, which would be passed along to businesses and consumers in the form of nationwide annual retail electricity rate increases of 11 to 14 percent per year. EPA’s New Source Rule requires the deployment of technologies that are not commercially viable, which has the practical effect of banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants.

States, which would be responsible for implementing EPA’s rules, have expressed widespread opposition to the rules. Highlighting significant legal shortcomings of the rules, officials from 27 states have filed legal challenges to the Clean Power Plan and officials from 24 states have filed legal challenges to the new source rule. Also bringing suit against EPA are 24 national trade associations, 37 rural electric cooperatives, 10 major companies, and 3 labor unions.

S.J.Res.23 and S.J.Res.24 would prevent EPA from implementing either of its GHG rules for power plants, thus providing important relief for all energy consumers. We urge all Senators to support and vote in favor of both S.J.Res.23 and S.J.Res.24.1

For more information on the action taken by the U.S. Senate, read this article from The Hill.

Associated Industries of Missouri is the sole official designated partner of the National Association of Manufacturers in Missouri.