Posts filed under In the States

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.

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.

Watch Out for the Rhetoric Tomorrow Night

Democratic presidential candidates take the stage tomorrow night for the first Democratic Primary Debate on CNN at 9 p.m. EST. Most of the contenders, particularly frontrunners like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are expected to show off shiny platforms that vilify fossil fuels. Taking it a step farther, these candidates will show they are in lock step with the president’s climate agenda, especially his recently issued Costly Power Plan.

Hillary Clinton is already rallying for the plan saying, “It’s a good plan, and I’d defend it. We can and must go further.” Candidates Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee all also publicly support the plan.

What the candidates will fail to vocalize is that the plan they are touting has the exact same costly flaws attached to it as the “cap and trade” legislation from Obama’s earlier years – which ended up ousting over three dozen of its supporters from their political seats.

Cap and Trade

Instead of learning from the past, the Democratic candidates are doubling down on the president’s plan to regulate where he couldn’t legislate. They will tout their credentials as champions for the working class yet they support energy policies that will leave families paying more for electricity. They will tell us broad support exists for action like the carbon plan despite recent political history showing us this type of policy is a political loser. Is this what we want from our next president? Someone who says one thing and does the opposite?

When you’re watching the debate, think twice about the candidates on stage who are supporting this political loser. If you’re appalled by a potential president who will continue to champion this faulty carbon plan – regardless of the facts – at the expense of our country’s taxpayers, it’s time to stand up against the current administration’s misguided carbon agenda.

Make sure candidates answer your carbon plan questions during the CNN debate tonight. Submit your question by tweeting or visiting CNN’s website.

Preparing for Battle, Defending States’ Rights

The Obama Administration cast a dark shadow over the states when the Environmental Protection Agency issued its carbon plan in August.  It’s a regulation so flagrant in its encroachment on states’ rights that it’s uniting attorneys general across the nation – and across party lines – in opposition.

These AGs – more than 20 are expected to be part of the action – understand the carbon regulation will result in soaring electricity prices that will decimate the pocket books of middle- and low-income families who already spend up to 17 percent of their modest budgets on energy. Thankfully, they are prepared to defend their states’ rights and keep electricity prices affordable by using the power and resources at their disposal.

Don’t take my word for it, however, check out what these right-minded AGs have to say on the matter.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is steering the coalition fighting the carbon rule, said, “This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the nation’s history, and the EPA simply does not have the legal authority to carry it out. With this rule, the EPA is attempting to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller also decried the legality of the regulation, saying it is “an overreach of historic proportions and this regulation of electrical power generation goes far beyond what Congress authorized the agency to do.”

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway argues the regulation will devastate the livelihood of his state’s residents. “It is apparent the Obama administration is doubling down on policies that hurt Kentucky,” he said. “I have challenged the President in the past and won — that is just what I plan to do in this case. This is about the future of our commonwealth and ensuring that our state doesn’t bear the brunt of an ill-conceived Washington, D.C., regulation that hurts Kentucky coal and Kentucky jobs.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange pointed out the problems it would cause for his state when he said, “Under the EPA rule, Alabamians’ average annual household energy bills could rise by more than $800 a year by the time the plan is fully implemented. This places an undue burden on those who can least afford it, including the poor, the elderly and others on fixed incomes.”

These AGs and many others are determined to save their states – and their states’ residents – from Obama’s executive overreach. We are hopeful even more will take up this cause and fight alongside them against this legally flawed, costly carbon plan.