Posts filed under National Affairs

Congress Reminds Obama of His Plan of Empty Promises

President Obama will soon be heading to Europe to sell his so-called Clean Power Plan to world leaders. Before he goes, however, the gaping holes in his rule will be showcased during Wednesday’s House Science, Space, and Technology Committee hearing appropriately titled, “The Administration’s Empty Promises for the International Climate Treaty.” Led by Texas Congressman and committee chairman Lamar Smith, the hearing will reveal exactly what Obama and EPA are delivering to our country and to leaders around the world: empty promises.

We’ve told you before the president’s power plan will cause huge spikes in electricity costs. Now NERA Economic Consulting vice president Dr. Anne Smith will explain just how our country will be impacted by detailing NERA’s recent study which found the power plan would:

  • Raise energy prices in all of the Lower 48 states
  • Cause peak year price increase of at least 20 percent in 28 states and more than 30 percent in 14 states
  • Cost up to $292 billion in compliance costs

Chairman Smith said, “The pledge to the U.N. is estimated to prevent only a 0.03-degree Celsius temperature rise. There is a reason the president chose to bypass Congress in order to negotiate a climate deal on his own. The president’s plan gives control of U.S. energy policy to unelected United Nations officials. This plan ignores good science and only seeks to advance a partisan political agenda.”

With financial distress this plan would cause and next to zilch environmental benefits, it’s clear why 27 states are suing the Obama Administration and legislators in both chambers are filing a resolution of disapproval to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting its costly plan.

President Obama should remember one thing when he’s bragging about his power plan to other nations at COP21: His own country isn’t backing him up because his plan causes too much economic ruin for American families. It’s time the president think about just what he’s actually selling – a shiny yet costly and ineffective plan at the expense of American families – when he goes to Paris.


New numbers reveal EPA’s plan will send electricity prices soaring

New analysis from NERA Economic Consulting on the Environmental Protection Agency’s final carbon rule for existing power plants reveals what we’ve been saying all along –consumers and businesses will be hit hard by skyrocketing electricity price increases. With its expensive price tag of nearly $300 billion, you would expect to see significant environmental benefits, right? Wrong. The so-called Clean Power Plan will have no effect on its purported claim of reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

Here’s a rundown of how the dice fall if EPA’s rule goes into effect:

  • States get hit hard. Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming are disproportionately affected by the costly power plan and will experience electricity rate increases in excess of 40 percent.
  • Cap and trade by another name still means higher electricity rates. EPA claims its cap and trade lookalike scheme is cost-saving and “efficient” but NERA’s analysis proves otherwise showing a national average increase as high as 14 percent.

These numbers are especially dire for the 59 million middle- and low-income families who bring home on average less than $2,000 a month and already spend 17 percent of their hard-earned dollars on energy. To make ends meet and keep the lights on, they’ll have to shave precious dollars off of other necessities like groceries and health care.

The conclusion of NERA’s analysis is clear: higher electricity prices are on their way courtesy of EPA. It’s time the president and his bureaucratic chums look at the math and determine if they’re really willing to put our country’s families into financial turmoil in order to fulfill their political goals.

For a full picture of the how the numbers will play out if the president and EPA have their way, click here.

Congress Takes Up Battle Against Carbon Rule

Both chambers of Congress are working fervently this week to strike down the president’s power plan, which mandates draconian carbon emission reductions rates on new and existing power plants. Even though President Obama is bypassing Congress and attempting to force states to follow suit, elected officials are underscoring an inescapable fact: the power plan is opposed by the majority of members of the Senate and the House and faces significant legal obstacles.

Here’s a look at what some members of Congress who are fighting to overturn this rule – both Republican and Democrat –  are saying:

Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, is leading the charge against EPA’s illegal regulation and frequently describes the agency as the “rogue political arm of the White House.”

Whitfield goes on to say, “their broad assertion of regulatory authority in these rules goes far beyond what is authorized by the Clean Air Act. These resolutions serve to halt EPA’s unauthorized actions and ultimately are about protecting ratepayers across the country from increased electricity prices, reliability threats, and job [loss].”

North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp is also making sure the power plan doesn’t go unchallenged. She says the Senate’s resolution of disapproval is part of Congress’s “efforts to push back against EPA’s final rule for existing power plants — a rule that is totally unworkable as written for North Dakota’s utilities and regulators without causing severe reliability issues and massive rate increases.”

West Virginia Senator Shelly Moore Capito drives home the reality that the power plan will cause financial devastation for households across the nation, saying “our most vulnerable will bear the burden.”

Capito continues to explain that fighting the power plan is necessary because it unfairly “help[s] some states and really hurt[s] others…it target[s] states like West Virginia and North Dakota, where we produce some of the most affordable and reliable energy.”

The strong opposition demonstrated by a majority of Congressional members speaks volumes about the president’s deeply flawed regulations. The laudable actions of these elected officials will serve as a reminder that the policies of our nation should be crafted by those sent to Washington on behalf of the American people – not through executive fiat. Congress is indeed taking up the battle against President Obama’s illegal power plan and will continue to reassert its Constitutional authority as America’s lawmaking body.

Thank You, Attorneys General

We’ve been saying all along that the carbon plan President Barack Obama and a horde of his Environmental Protection Agency friends issued is an overreaching and expensive burden on taxpayers. Now 26 states – realizing the danger this rule poses to states’ rights – are challenging the EPA in federal court.

The map below shows which states are defending their residents from EPA’s overreaching mandate:


According to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “EPA claims to have sweeping power to enact such regulations based on a rarely-used provision of the Clean Air Act, but such legal authority simply does not exist.”

He’s exactly right. As Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said, the carbon plan is “an attempt by the administration to transfer decision-making on the fuels used to generate power from state policy makers to bureaucrats at the EPA.”

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman describes her role in the lawsuit as the “people’s lawyer.”

Coffman recently said, “Everyday when I go to work, I have one priority: my duty to represent the legal interests of the people of Colorado. That means I can’t simply defer to the federal government or to the governor when I think they are wrong.”

The attorneys general are fighting against the plan’s legally flawed foundation; however, they are also fighting to protect the pocketbooks of the everyday Americans who will be forced to pay for the president’s folly.

EPA’s proposed carbon plan was projected to cause double-digit electricity rate increases in 40 states, with 17 states potentially facing electricity rate increases exceeding 20 percent.   When it comes to these types of cost increases, the 59 million low- and middle-income consumers who currently spend 17 percent of their income on energy have the most at stake – wondering where in their budgets they can squeeze in skyrocketing electricity rates.

That’s why every American needs to root for these valiant defenders of the law in striking down EPA’s expensive and lawless carbon scheme. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for doing everything possible to stop this regulation – now it’s time for the court of the land to decide.

Obama plans on playing trick or treat at climate conference

Forget Halloween ghosts and goblins – you should be scared of what President Obama is plotting for the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference. The president is traveling to Paris to tout the Environmental Protection Agency’s legally flawed carbon plan with the hope of striking an international climate deal at the conference.

The president is clearly in the holiday spirit because his plans in Paris include a lot of “trick or treating.” He will be handing out treats to participating nations by parading EPA’s carbon plan as an example other countries should follow and committing American taxpayer dollars to helping other countries reduce their carbon emissions. American residents, meanwhile, will only get tricks, as his draconian carbon plan saddles our country with restrictions on new and existing power plants that will drive up electricity prices for American families.

Here’s a haunting thought: The president is willing to sweet talk his way into convincing other countries’ leaders to buy into his flawed plan, but he won’t be talking about the opposition to the his plan here at home. Twenty-four states have filed a lawsuit against EPA to stop implementation of the plan and elected officials in Washington, D.C., and across the country are speaking out about the obvious legal flaws and devastating costs. The upcoming climate change talks should not be another platform for him to sign an agreement that would usurp our nation’s laws and impose more pain on the American people.

Obama has no business deciding who gets tricks or treats this year. As the climate talks draw near, be aware of the costly changes that are in store for our nation as we get tricked by our own president.


Carson and Trump need to stop hiding on EPA carbon plan

We’re well into Halloween season and we’re asking Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ben Carson to take off their masks during tonight’s Republican Presidential Debate in Colorado. Residents in coal-powered states like Colorado, which derives 64 percent of its electricity from coal, deserve to know what the two leading candidates have in store for President Obama’s carbon plan. The costs of this plan on American families are simply too high for these frontrunners to ignore.

It’s imperative Trump and Carson – who have yet to inform the public where they stand on the president’s expensive scheme, which drastically cuts carbon emissions in both new and existing power plants and cost taxpayers billions  – do so during tonight’s debate.


The debate titled “Your Money, Your Vote,” conveniently serves as a vehicle for Carson and Trump, as well as the eight other GOP hopefuls attending, to tell the country how they plan to defend taxpayers against this costly measure.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Ohio Governor John Kasich and Florida Senator Marco Rubio have publicly denounced the plan and their states are suing EPA for its lawless attempt to take over how states generate electricity. Carly Fiorina and Rick Santorum vow to stop the expensive regulation its tracks if elected president while Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz all warn EPA’s illegal plan will cause energy prices to soar for consumers.

That takes us back to Trump and Carson. The 59 low- and middle-income households—nearly one million in Colorado alone— who won’t be able to afford to keep the lights on if energy prices soar are wondering: how will these two presidential hopefuls combat EPA’s money-sucking plan?

They may be popular in the polls, but now it’s time for them to put away their Halloween costumes and turn their attention to the financial wellbeing of our country’s consumers.

Diverse Groups Urge Attorneys General to Fight Carbon Rule

Demand is growing for states to take up the fight against the Environmental Protection Agency’s radical and unlawful carbon plan. The latest voices to call on state attorneys general to add their names to a lawsuit to stop the so-called Clean Power Plan from being implemented represent a diverse array of stakeholders including Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Independent Women’s Forum, the Hispanic Leadership Fund and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

This coalition sent a joint letter to state attorneys general across the nation asking them to not only join their 20 plus peers who are already taking legal action but also to take resistance a step further by refusing to begin implementation plans before all legal challenges are resolved.

The joint letter clearly lays out the numerous arguments against states falling into line with EPA’s mandate:

  • “States should not be forced to cede power over their own electrical systems to the federal government, especially when the carbon rule’s legality remains in question.”
  • “Legal scholars overwhelmingly agree that the carbon rule is not just void of statutory authority and illegal under the Clean Air Act, but that the rule is also in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
  • “Obama’s carbon rule amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity system and is a direct affront to state sovereignty, setting a dangerous precedent for state and federal relations going forward.”

The attorneys general already fighting the rule know two things. One, the rule is harmful to the citizens of their states; and, two, it violates the law. Those factors should be reason enough for every state’s attorney general to oppose the carbon regulation. The erosion of states’ rights is only further justification for them to take a stand against this egregious misuse of executive power. As the coalition letter says, “States should work to uphold their sovereignty and to protect the well being of their citizens and businesses from this onerous and unlawful regulation.”

Only by working together can states defeat the Obama Administration’s unlawful and costly takeover of the electricity system. The attorneys general who are undecided on this issue should heed our and the coalition’s call to action and join their colleagues in fighting for their states’ sovereignty and the well being of their citizens.

EPA’s Carbon Plan’s “Numerous Legal Deficiencies” Glare During House Hearing

The House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce’s subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on “EPA’s CO2 Regulations for New and Existing Power Plants: Legal Perspectives” drove home some glaring truths about the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon plan. Chief among them is the fact the plan is blatantly illegal and that EPA is vastly exceeding its authority to craft and impose state energy policy.

It was evident at the hearing that the administration and EPA bypassed the legislative branch when imposing its so-called Clean Power Plan to ensure it avoids being shot down in Congress.

Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said, “The discrepancy between what EPA is trying to do and what the Clean Air Act actually allows is so wide that I am confident that these rules will not withstand judicial scrutiny.”

Experts and elected officials across the board compared the likeness of EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan to the Obama Administration’s “cap and trade.” West Virginia’s general solicitor Elbert Lin  and expert legal witness Allison Wood both testified that EPA’s carbon scheme is “cap and trade” reincarnated – legislation  which failed in a Democratic-controlled Congress five years ago because it was expensive and impractical for American taxpayers.

Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “The EPA is regulating where the administration failed to legislate, issuing final rules for CO2 emissions from new and existing power plants that seek to fundamentally change the way we generate, distribute, and consume electricity here in the United States.”

It was made apparent, however, that EPA’s plan is much bigger than just a legal battle. Behind all of the legal technicalities, the financial future of millions of American families is at stake.

Upton warned, “Left unaddressed they [EPA’s plan] could lead to higher electric bills, an increased likelihood of blackouts, and lost American jobs. The new EPA’s regulations on their own do significant damage – but cumulatively they will break the camel’s back.”

We commend Congressmen Upton, Whitfield and the expert witnesses who testified about the truth behind EPA’s illegal rule and for standing up against the administration’s blatant attempt to usurp  states’ constitutional authority.