Monday, January 2, 2012

Energy and Commerce Leaders Welcome Court Ruling to Block January 1 Implementation of Costly EPA Rule Affecting Power Plants

December 31, 2011. WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Fred Upton (R-MI) and Ed Whitfield (R-KY), chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Energy and Power Subcommittee, welcomed a last-minute ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delay the January 1, 2012 effective date of one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s costly rules affecting power plants. The ruling delays implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule until the Court can make a final decision on the regulation, which has been challenged by several states and which is one of several rules that are projected to put American jobs at risk.

“When it comes to something as simple as keeping the lights on and keeping electricity rates affordable, we shouldn’t need a federal court to step in and tell a government agency to stop threatening our power supplies and jobs. Unfortunately, that’s what it came to in this case,” said Upton. “The EPA’s unprecedented rash of regulations will cost our economy tens of billions of dollars and put at risk tens of thousands of jobs, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Congress has voted numerous times in the last year to rein in this agency and press for a more sensible approach to regulations – one that gives utilities and other affected facilities the time they need to comply with rules that are achievable in the real world and does not unnecessarily put jobs at risk. This Court ruling is just the latest signal that EPA has gone too far.”

“I am pleased that the DC Circuit Court granted a motion to stay the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule,” said Whitfield. “This decision is a major win for consumers because CSAPR is estimated to increase electricity rates, threaten electric reliability, and unfairly penalize electricity generated from coal. This rule combined with other recently finalized and pending EPA regulations have been estimated to put at risk 1.6 million jobs and cost consumers nearly $21 billion per year. Not only do these rules, including CSAPR, have major impacts on our economy at a time when our unemployment rate is still high, but many are also concerned that these rules could threaten electricity reliability causing a major security threat to our nation. The DC Circuit Court’s decision is another reason why the Senate needs to immediately pass H.R. 2401, which the House passed this past summer and which contains my amendment to address the CSAPR rule permanently.