WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks opposing the Democrats’ Congressional Review Act to eliminate the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. The Congressional Review Act resolution failed 41 to 53. It was a bipartisan vote in favor of the ACE rule and against the Clean Power Plan.
Barrasso is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW).
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Mr. President, I rise today in strong opposition to the Congressional Review Act resolution put forward by the Democrats in which we will soon be voting.
“The Democrats’ resolution would eliminate President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy rule.
“The president’s rule is commonsense policy. It protects our air and it allows our economy to grow – at the same time.
“The Affordable Clean Energy rule will replace the Obama administration’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan.’
“The punishing plan would have damaged our economy.
“It would have: closed power plants, put energy workers on unemployment, reduced the reliability of our electricity, and increased energy bills for American families and small businesses.
“The result would have been dramatic increases in electricity bills all across the country.
“The plan would have devastated communities in my home state of Wyoming – raising electricity bills by 42% in the state of Wyoming.
“Wyoming is America’s leading producer of coal. It supports thousands of good paying jobs all across the state.
“Across Wyoming, the punishing power plan would have put hard working men and women out of work.
“The rule was a massive roadblock for states.
“Instead of working collaboratively with state governments, it put the EPA in the driver’s seat of setting a national energy policy.
“States would be told what energy sources were allowed within their borders and how to regulate them.
“Worst of all, the so-called Clean Power Plan would have barely reduced carbon emissions.
“It would have crippled our economy and done very little to help our environment.
“President Obama’s plan wasn’t just bad policy, it was illegal.
“27 states – including Wyoming – filed a lawsuit to stop the regulation.
“The Supreme Court ruled that Obama’s EPA went way beyond its legal authority.
“The court blocked the overreaching rule.
“Now, President Trump has put forward a commonsense replacement to protect America’s air.
“The Affordable Clean Energy rule follows the law and is good news for the people of Wyoming and the rest of the country.
“It recognizes that the EPA is not supposed to pick winners and losers.
“Under the new rule, power plants can make reasonable changes - like improving efficiency.
“The rule promotes the use of new cleaner technologies to generate electricity.
“So energy companies can modernize their power plants, without having to shut them down completely.
“The rule also respects the role of states under the Clean Air Act.
“It gets rid of the ‘Washington knows best’ top-down approach of unelected, unaccountable, heavy-handed bureaucrats.
“States understand how to protect the air their citizens breathe. They know it’s an important thing to do.
“The end result will be cleaner air and more affordable energy for America’s households.
“Now, Senate Democrats want to play politics, once again, and uproot the Affordable Clean Energy rule.
“Democrats want to resurrect a rule the Supreme Court took unprecedented action to stop.
“That would be bad for our environment, bad for our economy, and bad for our country.
“Under the Congressional Review Act, if Congress repeals the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the administration couldn’t replace it with a similar rule.
“The administration put forward a commonsense rule to protect our air quality and now Democrats want to kill it.
“Democrats have become hostages to the far left agenda.
“Even when it doesn’t make sense.
“That’s not good policy. We have seen this before.
“The Environment and Public Works Committee - which I chair - recently passed legislation to help reduce the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans.
“The bipartisan bill follows up on the previous Save Our Seas Act that passed and was signed into law last Congress.
“Instead of supporting the legislation, extreme environmentalists oppose the bill because we are not banning all plastics.
“These extreme activists want to do the same thing with our air.
“Instead of finding common ground, their goal seems to be to shut down our economy because that’s what they’re promoting.
“Democrats in the House of Representatives, regrettably, have followed a similar pattern.
“House Democrats refuse to work with Republicans to pass commonsense bills to protect our air, and address climate change.
“Bipartisan legislation to support carbon capture technologies, which we passed in this body, sits in the House of Representatives, waiting for a vote.
“The USE IT Act - which I introduced along with Senator Whitehouse - passed our committee unanimously.
“The bill has bipartisan support in the House as well – but it hasn’t gone anywhere.
“It’s being stopped because Democrat leaders in the House refused to move a commonsense bill that could lower carbon emissions and help address climate change.
“Killing commonsense policies - like the Affordable Clean Energy rule and the USE IT Act - makes no sense to me.
“President Trump’s rule respects the law and helps the environment.
“It is a win-win for our country.
“Americans deserve clean air. They also deserve clear rules. The Affordable Clean Energy rule gives us both.
“I urge every Senator to oppose the resolution that’s coming up to the floor.”