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Senate votes in favor of resolutions that would block power plant rule introduced by Obama and EPA

Photo: UNEP
Photo: UNEP

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It was the hottest year on record, once again, but the U.S. Senate voted in favor of resolutions that would strike down a new rule designed to cut carbon emissions from power plants.

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the Clean Power Plan – a “historic and important step” in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes action on climate change. According to the EPA, “shaped by years of unprecedented outreach and public engagement, the final Clean Power Plan is fair, flexible and designed to strengthen the fast-growing trend toward cleaner and lower-polluting American energy. With strong but achievable standards for power plants, and customized goals for states to cut the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, the Clean Power Plan provides national consistency, accountability and a level playing field while reflecting each state’s energy mix. It also shows the world that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.”

However, on Tuesday, Senate Republicans mustered the votes to pass two resolutions against the EPA rule. The vote was largely symbolic and won’t be enough to stop the plan from going into effect.  The president said after the vote that if the entire Congress were to pass the resolutions and send them to his desk, he would veto them.

Joni Ernst
Joni Ernst

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement after voting in favor of the two measures that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “costly rules on new and existing power plants from going into effect.”

“Once again, the EPA has bypassed Congress and ignored the voices of hardworking Americans to unilaterally enforce its agenda. This latest overreach is a backdoor cap-and-trade policy that is likely to threaten jobs, burden hardworking Americans and increase electricity prices for low-income families.

“Energy policies like this one are central to the economic health of our country and should not be forced through a rulemaking process that is specifically designed to ignore the will of Congress and the American people. These issues should be debated openly in Congress as well as in every congressional district and community across America. I remain committed to ensuring that hardworking folks across the country are protected from this harmful rule.”

EPA’s rule would require Iowa to reduce its emissions by 42 percent by 2030, Ernst said. “Iowa must decide between a single state plan or a regional approach that could include emissions trading. The rule also prohibits any renewable investments made prior to 2013 from being used directly for compliance. As an early adopter of wind energy, this is disappointing for Iowa.”

National & Iowa Impact, according to Ernst:

The EPA’s new rule will impact 37 electric generating units in Iowa.
In Iowa, 59 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal.
Even the EPA estimates that this new rule will cost $8.4 billion per year.
The American Action Forum predicts that the rule will eliminate 125,800 jobs across the country.

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