Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
Katie Brown Katie_Brown@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-2160
Inhofe Introduces Measure to Stop One of Obama-EPA's Most Expensive Rules
Senate Democrats claim they want to rein in the Obama-EPA; It's time to actually do it.
Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today filed a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) that will prevent the Obama-EPA from going through with its Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology ("Utility MACT") rule.
"The failure of the United States Senate to rein in the Obama-EPA is having a devastating impact on the pocketbooks of American families and threatens the jobs and livelihoods of millions of Americans," Senator Inhofe warned. "Over the past year, more than a dozen Senate Democrats have claimed that they want to stop EPA's destructive agenda, yet when the time comes, they hide behind alternative bills they know will never pass. This way, they can tell their constituents they are trying to help - when the reality is their actions are enabling them to protect President Obama's left wing ideals. The House has passed numerous bipartisan bills, yet not a single one has passed the United States Senate. It's time for the Senate to do its job and stop this regulatory nightmare.
"Today the United States Senate can look forward to having one more opportunity to stand up to President Obama's war on affordable energy: I am introducing a legislative measure that will put a halt to the Obama-EPA's Utility MACT rule - one of the most expensive environmental rules in American history, second only to his proposed cap-and-trade rules that failed to pass legislatively.
"When one cuts through EPA's propaganda, the health benefits the Agency touts are virtually nonexistent. In reality, Utility MACT is designed to kill coal. As EPA admits, this extension of Obama's cap-and-trade agenda will cost American families up to $11 billion in electricity rate increases (over 11 percent increase, on average), and destroy up to 1.4 million jobs. Workers recently laid off in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia are feeling the devastating impacts of this rule. Sadly, these lost jobs are a part of President Obama's wider war on coal as well as fossil fuels, which he admitted was his goal on the campaign trail in 2008 when he said, 'if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant they can. It's just that it will bankrupt them' and 'under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.'
"The time for political charades and talk is over. A majority of the members of the US Senate understand that EPA is destroying jobs and harming our economy. The President himself admitted as much when he stopped EPA from issuing new ozone standards. With this CRA, the Senate can either stand with American families, small businesses, and manufacturers, or continue to enable the Obama-EPA's job-killing regulatory agenda."
The Congressional Review Act (CRA) provides for an expedited Senate floor procedure to overturn executive agency rules by a simple majority vote. If passed by both chambers and signed into law, the joint resolution would effectively send the rule back to EPA to be rewritten in conformance with Congressional direction.
Contrary to claims, disapproved rules don't necessarily require statutory reauthorization before further agency action can occur. Rather, an agency's ability to issue a new rule depends on the nature of its regulatory authority and the specific objections raised by Congress to the disapproved rule.
EPA has broad authority and discretion to regulate hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. As such, in the event the Utility MACT rule and its "Franken MACT" approach were disapproved, it would not be barred from seeking achievable, cost effective emissions reductions from power plants.