Committee Investigates EPA’s Attack on Power Plants


Fischer-Supported Bill Receives EPW Committee Hearing, ARENA Would Stop EPA Takeover of Electric System and Restore State Authority

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 24, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works convened a hearing this afternoon to hear testimony on how the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon regulations would harm hardworking families, minorities, and businesses of all sizes. The committee also investigated the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), a bill cosponsored by U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.). The legislation, which was first introduced last month by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) would halt the damaging effects of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to control new and existing power plants. Senator Fischer released the following statement after today’s hearing:

“Today’s hearing revealed how the president’s proposed carbon regulations will impact middle and low-income families and energy-intensive businesses such as manufacturing and agriculture. By rushing to impose new restrictions on our energy choices, the EPA is causing damage that is very real and devastating to millions of Americans. Today’s witnesses were blunt with their testimony, noting that the EPA’s rule will do more harm than the intended goal of helping our environment. 

“As a 100 percent public power state, Nebraska will be disproportionately impacted by this overregulation of our electricity system. Families and businesses will be forced to pay for costly plant upgrades, higher electricity bills, and more expensive goods and services. That is why I am proud to cosponsor ARENA – a bill that would protect Nebraska families.”

This afternoon, the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety held a hearing entitled “The Impacts of EPA’s Proposed Carbon Regulations on Energy Costs for American Businesses, Rural Communities and Families, and a Legislative Hearing on S. 1324.”

The ARENA Act protects states from the EPA’s unprecedented power grab. It also protects ratepayers from increased electricity rates and reduced reliability. Specifically, the bill would:

Prevent mandates for unproven technology: The bill would require an agency to achieve a standard for at least 12 months at six separate power facilities throughout the country before setting a technology-based standard for new power plants. The bill would also prevent the EPA from using any demonstration projects (which are reliant on federal support) from being used to set the standard.

Extend compliance dates: The bill would extend the rule’s compliance dates pending final judicial review, including the dates for submission of state plans.

Hold the EPA accountable: This bill would require the EPA to issue state-specific model plans demonstrating how each state could meet the required greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the rule.

Enable states to protect ratepayers: The bill would provide that no state shall be required to implement a state or federal plan that the state’s governor determines would negatively impact economic growth, the reliability of the electricity system, or electricity ratepayers.

Protect highway fund dollars: The bill would prevent the EPA from withholding highway funds from any states for noncompliance with the “Clean Power Plan.”

Click here to view the text of the ARENA Act.

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