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Vitter: Obama’s Regulatory Agenda Remains Unchecked Despite Warnings
May 29, 2014

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement ahead of the Obama Administration's expected June 2, 2014, release of proposed regulations on carbon emissions from existing power plants as part of the President's Climate Action Plan.

"Should the Obama Administration's proposal for existing power plants go into effect, it would continue the drive to shut down a major percentage of our nation's electric power fleet, which would devastate our economy while increasing electricity prices for American families and businesses," said Vitter. "The rule for existing sources is going to affect over 1,500 fossil fuel power plants in the U.S., including nearly 560 coal-fired power plants. Increased regulation by EPA through these performance standards has the potential to result in jobs lost across the country, electricity reliability issues, and increased electric bills."

Yesterday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy released a new report predicting that EPA's forthcoming plans to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants would increase America's electricity bills $17 billion every year through 2030.

Below are statements from various federal agencies and energy companies raising red flags:

• "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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May 2014 Press Releases

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