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Vitter: EPA Disguises Devastating Effects of Administration’s New Cap-and-Trade Rule
June 9, 2014

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding the Administration's proposed regulations for greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants, which were released last Monday.

"As the Administration bypasses Congress to force cap-and-trade on the American people, power plants across the nation will shut down, thousands of Americans will lose their jobs, and the price of electricity will skyrocket," said Vitter. "EPA continues their weak attempt to disguise the devastating effects this proposed rule for existing power plants would have on our domestic energy industry and economy."

Today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy spoke to the Edison Electric Institute's (EEI) Board of Directors meeting. EEI represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies.

On May 29, 2014, Vitter released statements from various federal agencies and energy companies voicing their concerns about the expected effect of the proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants. Click here to read more.

On June 4, 2014, Vitter and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell lead 41 Senators in a letter requesting President Obama to withdraw the rule. Click here to read more.

Below are statements from various federal and state entities, as well as energy companies raising red flags before and after release of the rule:

• "I feel bad about saying the easiest way forward ... is start preparing the lawsuits now, because that seems to be an easier path....We can't seem to get clear responses in relation to what 111(d) has the power to resolve or not resolve." - Paul Kjellander, President, Idaho Public Utilities Commission, June 4, 2014

• "I'm very concerned about reliability and affordability....We're talking about moving away from [coal, which is] a power source that's efficient, dependent, that you can stockpile on-site. You can't just replace that with sources of electricity that are only available part of the time, like wind and solar." - Jim Gooch, Kentucky State Representative, Chair of the Kentucky House Natural Resources and Environment Committee

• "Our latest winter exposed an increasingly fragile balance of supply and demand in many areas. Prices at times were extraordinarily high [and] consumers are now beginning to receive utility bills that in some cases are reportedly several times what they paid during similar periods in previous years. The experience of this winter strongly suggests that parts of the nation's bulk power system are in a more precarious situation than I had feared in years past." - Phillip D. Moeller, commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, April 10, 2014

• "89% of coal units slated for retirement in mid-2015 ran during [this past winter's] polar vortex; that is also true for the quarter....So the need for this coal capacity was not just an aberration, but an integral part of maintaining comfort for our customers during extreme cold weather." - American Electric Power Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas K. Akins (April 25, 2014 AEP First Quarter Earnings Call Transcript, Morningstar).

• "Eventually, gas, gas as a bridge, eventually gas itself would need to be either phased out or have CO2 capture if we are going to go to a very very low CO2 emissions world." - Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy ( Google+Hangout: The State of Our Climate, May 19, 2014)

• "In the electric utility industry, energy efficiency, renewable power, distributed generation, micro grids, roof-top solar and demand reduction are examples of what "sounds good" - and while they may all play some role in meeting the energy needs of customers, they are not substitutes for what has worked to sustain a reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electric system. And the mandates and subsidies needed to force their use have far-reaching consequences for our customers and our economy...that these policies and others -designed to achieve a social agenda that has little, if anything, to do with maintaining electric service - are shifting the fixed costs of the system to customers who can least afford it..." - FirstEnergy CEO, Anthony J. Alexander (April 8, 2014 Remarks to CEO Leadership Series, Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

• "I believe the central parts of the [EPA] chart are that U.S. action alone will not impact world CO2 levels." - EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson (July 7, 2009, Press Release Jackson Confirms EPA Chart Showing No Effect on Climate Without China and India)

• "I think what you're asking is, ‘Can EPA in and of itself solve the problems of climate change?' No, we cannot." - EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy (September 18, 2013, Hearing entitled The Obama Administration's Climate Change Policies and Activities, House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy & Power).

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June 2014 Press Releases

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