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Legislation Would Undermine EPA’s Clean Power Plan to Curb Carbon Pollution

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

Note: Today at 10 a.m., the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to mark up the Ratepayer Protection Act.

The so-called Ratepayer Protection Act follows congressional Republicans’ longstanding approach to climate change: Deny there is a problem, and deny the solutions. The bill would undermine the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s historic proposal to curb carbon pollution by permitting state governors to opt out of the rule in the name of protecting state consumers. It also would delay the rule’s implementation until all lawsuits over the proposal are completed, which could take many years. We can’t afford to delay; we need urgent, assertive action to combat climate change.

The Clean Power Plan is good for consumers (PDF). Climate change threatens devastating harm to American families in the form of higher prices for food and water, increased pests and disease, damage to property and higher infrastructure costs. The Clean Power Plan will reduce these harms by mitigating climate change. It also will spur improvements in energy efficiency, reducing household electricity bills.

A better name for the Ratepayer Protection Act would be the Coal Company Protection Act. It’s an attempt to help the terminally ill coal industry die a slightly slower death ‒ at the expense of American families and the rest of the world.