Legislation Would Undermine EPA’s Clean Power Plan, Take Country Backward in Fight to Address Climate Change

Statement of David Arkush, Managing Director, Public Citizen’s Climate Program

DavidArkush1Note: Today, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) introduced the “Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act of 2015,” which is similar to U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield’s (R-Ky.) “Ratepayer Protection Act.” Among other provisions, the Capito bill would let states opt out of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) – a proposed rule to curb greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants – and would block the CPP from taking effect until after lawsuits against it are resolved.

Today, the coal industry’s allies in the U.S. Senate introduced a bill to undermine the Clean Power Plan, purportedly in the name of protecting consumers. The bill is a shameful giveaway to the dying coal industry. It attempts to extend the use of coal briefly – at the expense of critical action on climate change that would boost the U.S. economy, create jobs and lower electricity costs.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency projects that the Clean Power Plan (PDF) would lower consumer bills by 8.4 percent by 2030, and that estimate is conservative. Protecting consumers means fighting climate change by boosting energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy sources like wind and solar – not perpetuating the dirty, expensive and dangerous 18th century practice of digging up rocks and burning them.