The U.S. House of Representatives is in recess until September, but the U.S. Senate is still here, and will remain in town next week. Right now the schedule looks pretty light. One key attack on the public interest will be on Wednesday, when the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to mark up the signature Senate assault on the Clean Power Plan, S. 1324, introduced by U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
The Clean Power Plan, which is expected to be released by the Obama administration as soon as Monday, is a rule designed to curb climate change-inducing pollution from existing power plants. This rule will curb asthma and other health problems caused by climate change and save consumers money in the long run by encouraging the use of more energy efficiency measures.
But the fossil fuel industry is a powerful lobbying force, and many in the Corporate Congress are in its thrall. Capito’s bill would let states opt out of the Clean Power Plan altogether. As David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program said recently, the bill is “a shameful giveaway to the dying coal industry.”
It is worth noting that in Capito’s home state, the Clean Power Plan will lower consumers’ electricity bills $160 annually by 2030, according to a Public Citizen analysis.