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WHAT THEY ARE SAYING - About EPA's New Affordable Clean Energy Rule

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Senator Mitch McConnell (KY), Senate Majority Leader – “The Obama Administration’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ offered a typical story from that era. An innocent-seeming name. A pleasant-sounding objective. But underneath, an intrusive regulatory regime -- built not on effective policy, but on far-left ideology. That’s why I am so grateful that, today, the Trump Administration is unveiling its plan to pare back this unfair, unworkable, and likely illegal policy… My colleagues and I have been at this for some time. That’s why the president’s actions today are so encouraging. Today’s proposed rule is the first step in the process. I look forward to engaging in this process as it moves forward toward a better outcome for Kentucky and the entire country.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (WI-1) – “Today, the Trump administration has laid out a better path to responsible energy production that is good for jobs and household budgets. This sets us up to be competitive for years to come. Congress will continue to work with the administration to connect America’s energy boom to consumers and communities. Affordable energy is so critical to our everyday lives, and it’s also vital to our long-term economic growth. But for years, the Obama administration waged a war on American energy with devastating consequences for workers and manufacturers. The ‘Clean Power Plan’ was just an absolute nightmare for coal country.”

Senator John Barrasso (WY), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman – “The so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ would have cost Wyoming’s energy workers their jobs and devastated communities throughout the state. The Obama-era regulation wasn’t just bad policy, it was illegal. I am glad the Trump administration is focused on getting this punishing rule off the books. Washington must work with Wyoming, and other states, in this process. States play an important role in protecting America’s air. I look forward to reviewing the administration’s proposed replacement. The state of Wyoming and other stakeholders should have a chance to give their feedback and look at this issue with a fresh lens.”

John Shimkus (IL-15) House Environment Subcommittee Chairman – “A majority of the states, a majority of Congress, along with dozens of rural electric co-ops, trade associations and labor unions rejected the previous administration’s overreaching Clean Power Plan. We knew the costs – from the loss of jobs, manufacturing, and energy security – would ultimately outweigh the purported benefits of the plan’s Washington-knows-best approach to environmental policy. I’m glad to see the Trump Administration return to the principles of cooperative federalism that have successfully and impressively reduced air pollution for decades. Rather than dictate burdensome, top-down mandates on the states, the Affordable Clean Energy rule seeks to empower states to continue reducing emissions in ways that best fit their various energy portfolios.”

Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-4),Western Caucus Chairman – “The Clean Power Plan picked winners and losers with a one-size-fits-all, national energy policy. The unconstitutional mandates in the CPP would have cost job creators and our economy nearly $300 billion dollars while also resulting in double digit electricity prices in at least 40 states. Today, the Trump Administration and Acting Administrator Wheeler proved that responsible energy production and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive by putting forward a proposed replacement rule that seeks to empower states, embrace new technologies and crowdsource from experts on the ground to ensure that the United States continues to be a global leader in energy production and carbon emission reductions.”

Representative Kevin Cramer (ND-AL) – “The Clean Power Plan was a clear overstep of authority by EPA, and I am pleased President Trump took action against this rule. This Administration has shown its support for ours and other energy-rich states who are not best represented by unelected bureaucrats in Washington. The ACE rule promotes energy dominance without targeting the elimination of certain power sources. No doubt environmentalists will file litigation against this rule which is another instance to demonstrate the importance of confirming President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, including Brett Kavanaugh. I will continue to review the unfolding information and listen to stakeholders to ensure consumers affordable, reliable energy with excellent environmental performance.” 

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice – “President Trump has followed through on his promise to get rid of the Clean Power Plan and use American energy to fuel economic growth. The ACE rule will help West Virginia big time and will bring back energy jobs like you can’t imagine. To have this announcement on the day President Trump visits West Virginia for the sixth time is just incredible, and another testament to his commitment to helping our great state and country.”

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead – “I, along with many in Wyoming, have been concerned about the Clean Power Plan. I spoke in support of replacing it at an EPA listening session in Gillette in March. The rule [Clean Power Plan] is flawed in many ways and I am glad that it is being worked on. I look forward to a thoughtful approach to improvement.”

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum – “The Clean Power Plan was a federal overreach of the EPA’s authority that threatened to erode the baseload reliability of our nation’s power grid and hurt consumers with higher electric rates.This new rule proposes a more balanced approached that will enable states like North Dakota to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy in an environmentally sound manner without the burdensome constraints of a one-size-fits-all federal policy. North Dakotans want to utilize our energy resources efficiently and with common sense, and our coal industry is working to further curb emissions and add value to carbon dioxide through innovative technologies such as Project Tundra and the Allam Cycle as we continue to enjoy the second-cleanest air in the country. We thank the Trump administration and EPA for giving states the flexibility under this new rule to reduce emissions while providing affordable, reliable power and promoting job creation, economic growth and energy independence through more innovation, not regulation.”

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts - “Thank you to President Trump for taking the next step on keeping his promise to roll back this job-killing regulation.  This federal red tape was completely unnecessary for our state because Nebraskans already successfully maintain clean air and clean water.  Additionally, it would have resulted in power rate increases that would have burdened Nebraska family budgets and Main Street job creators.  This new proposal from the Trump administration returns power to the states where it belongs.” 

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge – “Today’s decision to replace the burdensome so-called Clean Power Plan with the new proposed Affordable Clean Energy rule is a big win for Arkansans. In a State like Arkansas, where over half of the electricity is responsibly generated from coal-fired power plants, the hit to Arkansas utility ratepayers pocketbooks would have been felt immediately. These increased costs would have obstructed the State’s ability to grow good-paying jobs with fair, reasonable electric rates. As a seventh-generation Arkansan raised on a cattle farm and married to a row-crop farmer, I can assure Americans that no one cares about clean air and water more than I do. But I do not favor heavy-handed and unlawful regulations from Washington that will hurt Arkansans.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey – “The EPA’s proposal represents a crucial step in restoring law and order. The Affordable Clean Energy rule makes important strides in reversing the Obama-era Power Plan. Our coalition will closely examine the proposal and continue to support President Trump’s administration in implementing this important change to protect West Virginia coal miners and those who depend upon their success.”

Reactions to EPA's proposed Affordable Clean Energy Rule

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell – “The EPA’s proposed replacement rule is a huge improvement over the so-called Clean Power Plan, which is almost certainly illegal and would be incredibly costly to consumers if implemented.  The new rule provides minimal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants and will therefore result in only small increases in electric rates. It will also do no more harm to the coal industry, which still supplies 30% of America’s electricity at the lowest costs. It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will find that the replacement rule satisfies the requirements of the 2009 endangerment finding. CEI’s petition to re-open and reconsider the finding is still before the EPA. We think that granting the petition remains the best option if the court decides that the new rule doesn’t do enough to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants. The ‘Clean Power’ Plan was a key part of the Obama administration’s war on affordable energy and based on the finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare. However, the best and most recent science undermines that claim and therefore reconsideration is warranted.”

America’s Power President and CEO Michelle Bloodworth: “We are pleased that EPA has proposed a rule to replace the Clean Power Plan, especially one that allows the states to play a crucial role in determining which emission reduction measures make sense. In contrast to the illegal Clean Power Plan, EPA’s proposal is based on a correct reading of the Clean Air Act.”

Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute CEO Karen Harbert – “Today’s announcement is an important step toward a more collaborative process that fits within EPA’s statutory authority and will result in achievable progress through more practical, state-driven programs.  This revised approach will help continue the trend of lower electric power sector emissions while preserving America’s energy edge and respecting environmental law.  We look forward to reviewing the proposal in detail and actively participating in the regulatory process.”

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson – “The proposed rule appears to provide electric cooperatives with a more achievable plan that adheres to EPA’s historic approach to using the Clean Air Act. This is necessary to provide electric co-ops the certainty and flexibility they need to meet their consumer-members’ local energy needs. It is imperative that EPA’s rules recognize the investment that cooperative members have made in power plants and that there is a prudent path forward for 42 million consumers to benefit from those investments.  Electric cooperatives are built by, and belong to the communities that they serve. Because of this ownership structure, there are no shareholders to shoulder the weight of early power plant closures. The Clean Power Plan would have resulted in stranded assets and stranded debt, significantly increasing electricity costs for many consumers. At the same time, co-ops are responding to their members’ needs and market forces affecting the entire electric power sector. The electric cooperative fuel mix for providing electricity is changing, with increased investments in natural gas and renewables.”