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McConnell Will File Measure to Overturn EPA’s Regulation on New Coal-Fired Plants

McConnell Will File Measure to Overturn EPA’s Regulation on New Coal-Fired Plants

Bill Stephens

October 24th, 2015

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Senator Capito to file measure regarding EPA regs for existing plants

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that he and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) next week that is designed to stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing its anti-coal regulation on new coal-fired plants. Senator McConnell also plans to join Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) who will file a separate CRA next week with Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) regarding the regulation to cut carbon emissions from existing coal-fired plants.

The Obama Administration’s costly power plan regulations were published in the Federal Register today. A CRA provides Congress the ability to eliminate onerous regulations imposed by the executive branch through an expedited procedure for consideration in the Senate.

Once the resolutions are filed, Senator McConnell is expected to schedule votes on the CRAs to stop these devastating EPA anti-coal rules. These regulations make it clearer than ever that the President and his Administration have gone too far, and that Congress should act to stop this regulatory assault. If both CRAs are enacted into law, they would nullify both pillars of the costly power rule even if portions of the plan have already gone into effect.

“Here’s what is lost in this Administration’s crusade for ideological purity: the livelihoods of our coal miners and their families. Folks who haven’t done anything to deserve a ‘war’ being declared upon them. These are Kentuckians who just want to work, provide for their families, and deliver the type of low-cost energy that attracts more jobs to Kentucky. And coal is what allows so many of them do all that. It provides well-paying jobs and keeps the lights on,” Senator McConnell said. “I have vowed to do all I can to fight back against this Administration on behalf of the thousands of Kentucky coal miners and their families, and this CRA is another tool in that battle. The CRAs that we will file will allow Congress the ability to fight these anti-coal regulations.”

The Obama Administration’s costly power plan will consist of two major phases of implementation:

• First, the finalized regulation would limit the construction of new coal-fired plants. This portion of the costly power plan would effectively ban coal-fired power plants from being built in the future, thus, eliminating the future potential for coal jobs in America.

• Secondly, the Administration has proposed and finalized a regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. In effect, this regulation will result in the closures of coal-fired plants throughout the country.

For all the harm that the costly power plan will cause, the Administration’s final regulations are not even expected to reduce emissions in a meaningful way. What the plan will do, however, is trigger a section of law that would allow the Administration to eventually shut down coal-fired plants that already exist today, and prevent the construction of any new coal-fired plants in the future. In other words, it could allow the Administration to achieve its true aim of eliminating coal jobs completely.

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