Alexander Cosponsors Legislation to Protect Jobs and Economy from “Harmful” EPA Carbon Regulations

Also signs Vitter letter calling for withdrawal of administration’s proposed regulation

Posted on June 4, 2014

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“I have consistently said it’s the job of Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, to determine whether and how to regulate carbon dioxide, and this legislation stops the EPA from pursuing regulations that expand the big, wet blanket of harmful regulations on the economy that destroy job growth and put people out of work.” – Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, June 4 – U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today cosponsored legislation by Republican Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating carbon dioxide emissions on new and existing power plants unless multiple agencies certify such regulations will not hurt jobs, the economy, and electricity reliability. Alexander also signed a letter by Senator David Vitter (R-La.) to the president calling on the administration to withdraw its proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

“Regulations on carbon from power plants will drive electricity prices up for families and businesses and drive down job growth,” said Alexander. “I have consistently said it’s the job of Congress, not unelected bureaucrats, to determine whether and how to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, and this legislation stops the EPA from pursuing regulations that expand the big, wet blanket of harmful regulations on the economy that destroy job growth and put people out of work.”

Alexander has supported numerous pieces of legislation to make clear it is the job of Congress, not the EPA, to decide to what extent greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide emissions, should be regulated.

  • In 2010, Alexander was an original cosponsor of a resolution to overturn a rule by the EPA that would start the process of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
  • In 2011, he voted for an amendment to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act.
  • In 2013, he voted for an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
  • In 2013, he was an original cosponsor of the National Energy Tax Repeal Act, which would prohibit any federal agency from regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, unless Congress explicitly authorizes an agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
  • In 2014, Alexander was an original cosponsor of Sen. McConnell’s resolution of disapproval opposing the EPA’s effort to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

McConnell’s Coal Country Protection Act amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide from existing or new power plants unless:

  • The Secretary of Labor certifies such regulations will not result in any loss of employment.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) certifies such regulations will not result in the loss of gross domestic product (GDP).
  • The Energy Information Administration certifies such regulations will not result in increased electricity rates.
  • The Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC) and the North America Reliability Corporation certifies such regulations will not harm the reliability of the electric grid.

In addition to this bill, the letter led by Vitter and signed by Alexander and a total of 41 Republican senators calls on President Obama to withdraw a proposed rule announced Monday that regulates carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The full text of the letter is available here.

Alexander is a member of the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development.

 

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