Washington, D.C.-Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, thanked Rick Homrighausen, Mayor of Dover, Ohio, for expressing his support today for the Energy Tax Prevention Act during a joint EPW subcommittee hearing.
"Given the huge uncertainties and potential costs associated with GHG regulation," said Mayor Homrighausen, who also runs the city's coal-fired power plant, "I applaud Senator Inhofe for introducing S. 482, the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011."
As a mayor from the "heart of the industrial Midwest," Homrighausen testified that EPA's cap-and-trade agenda could lead to "loss of local decision-making and control of our power supply, increased vulnerability to volatile electricity markets, eventually higher electricity costs to customers, and direct job losses at our power plant." Homrighausen also explained how EPA's cap-and-trade agenda would affect Ohio's energy-intensive manufacturers:
Because business decisions are most often related to their costs, we can only expect that significant electricity cost increases in Dover would also result in negative economic impacts for our energy-intensive business customers.
Notably, the Baucus amendment, circulated yesterday, would do nothing to alleviate these impacts. Designed to codify EPA's so-called "tailoring rule," the Baucus amendment attempts to shield small businesses and farmers from EPA's greenhouse gas permitting requirements. But in fact, small businesses, manufacturers, farmers, even schools and hospitals, would still pay the skyrocketing electricity, gasoline, diesel, and fertilizer prices that would result from EPA's mandates on larger stationary sources of emissions.
As Philip Nelson, Member of the Board of the American Farm Bureau Federation, explained recently to the House Energy and Commerce Committee:
Farmers and ranchers would still incur the higher costs of compliance passed down from utilities, refiners and fertilizer manufacturers that are directly regulated as of January 2, 2011. In addition, farms and ranches that meet the Clean Air Act thresholds are still eventually going to have to obtain Title V and PSD/NSR permits at some point in the future and will incur the direct costs described above.
Whether it's the Baucus or Rockefeller approach, bills that stop short of repealing EPA's back-door cap-and-trade agenda can't protect consumers, farmers, and families from higher energy costs. Even with carve-outs, EPA's regulations will inhibit growth and expansion in local communities, especially in coal-dependent regions. Mayor Homrighausen explained the situation well:
We need to be able to make careful, informed decisions that will enable our community to grow and prosper, but these decisions are increasingly difficult in the current climate of uncertainty and regulatory overreach by the EPA.