Has Mitch McConnell thrown caution to the wind, exposed his underbelly to the enemy, so to speak, or just finally realized that he was elected to represent the people rather than cow-tow to the oval office?
In a letter to the National Governors Association, McConnell is advising governors to IGNOR the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), requiring states to dramatically restructure their electricity systems based on the EPA’s distorted view of how electricity should be produced and used. Their latest plan attack is a regulation to require a 30% reduction from 2006 levels of carbon emissions from existing power plants by 2030.
According to McConnell, the EPA has overstepped its bound and is attempting to compel states to do more than what the agency (EPA) is authorized to do on its own. While the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA may regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act, the Court never sanctioned an effort as far-reaching as the CPP. As a matter of fact, the Court recently struck down a key part of another EPA rule aimed at regulating carbon dioxide emissions and warned the EPA against claiming regulatory powers for itself not clearly granted to it by Congress
The EPA is using global warming, climate change as a ruse to shut down coal-fired plants even though they admit it is largely symbolic since the benefits of the CPP cannot be quantified. They have even refused to estimate the impact it would have on global temperatures or sea levels.
McConnell states that the EPA’s deadline for submitting plans is a ploy to coerce states into implementing a plan before the Supreme Court can rule on the CPP’s legality. He warns that if states do not submit a plan the EPA’s only recourse would be to develop and impose its own federal plan. The EPA has no power to bring a lawsuit against any state or withhold federal funds. And there is serious doubt they have the authority to write and impose a plan on the states.
But even if the EPA did impose a federal plan on states, it could not be any worse than the plan they are asking states to impose on themselves. According to estimates, the cost to implement the first part of this regulation, the one most likely within the EPA’s authority, amounts to $17.6 billion but that is only a fraction of the $479 billion price tag for the full plan that taxpayers would be forced to pay out.
States who are bullied into submitting a plan should realize that they are exposing themselves to the real danger of allowing the EPA to wrest control of the state’s energy policy, thus giving them a broad new authority to control that state’s energy future.
The CPP would impose the greatest hardship on low-income families, and those with fixed incomes. Recent study by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) found that under the EPA’s proposed plan, 43 states could expect double digit electric rate increases. In Kentucky alone, this regulation is projected to shrink the state’s economy by almost $2 billion, jeopardizing electric delivery and throwing countless individuals out of work. Its impact would be devastating at a time when Obama’s war against the coal industry has already cost Kentucky nearly 8,000 jobs.
By refusing to play ball with the EPA will give Congress and the Courts time to address the legality of the proposal.