- Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted 247-180 to approved HR 2042, a bill designed block implementation of President Obama's Clean Power Plan and protect ratepayers from what backers say would be steep price increases under the proposed emissions rules.
- The proposal, sponsored by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), would exempt states from complying with new environmental goals until a host of anticipated court challenges have been completed.
- The Senate is considering a similar measure, seeking to block the EPA from enacting new regulations on fossil fuel generators. President Obama has said he would veto both measures if they reach his desk.
While similar measures face a more uncertain future in the Senate, the conservative House of Representatives has approved measures aimed at blocking President Obama's signature carbon legislation, the Clean Power Plan.
The bill was introduced by Whitfield, in addition to Reps. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN).
According to Whitfield's office, costs associated with the rule could range from $366 billion to $479 billion over the period of 2017-2031. The legislation allows for court challenges to the rules to be completed before requiring states to comply. Additionally, states could not be forced to implement a state or federal plan if its governor believes it will impact either rates or reliability.
“EPA’s power grab is a bad deal for the American economy, businesses, and ratepayers. The president’s own EPA estimates that its proposed rule would cost tens of billions of dollars and would be unworkable for many states.,” Whitfield said in a statement. “At a time when our economy is still recovering, regulations that will raise the price of energy, especially on the most vulnerable in this country, will be devastating.”
Whitfield called his legislation “a safeguard to protect ratepayers and electric reliability.” The White House has threatened to veto the legislation should it wind up on the President's desk.