U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL), who serves on the Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on the Environment, on Wednesday spoke out in support of the Ratepayer Protection Act, which would circumvent the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Air Act.
“This rule would require power plants to reduce emissions by 30 percent in the next 15 years in order to achieve little to no environmental benefit,” Palmer said. “According to the [National Economics Research Associates), an economic consulting and analysis firm, this proposal would cost between $41 and $73 billion per year. There is a strong possibility this rule will be struck down in court. In the meantime, it could do significant economic damage.”
The Clean Air Act regulation has been embattled by some states – mostly coal producers – and energy industry groups since its proposal. Under the plan, states must come up with their own plans to achieve federally mandated goals or be subject to a federal plan. The Ratepayer Protection Act would allow states to opt out if they find that it will greatly and adversely affect their economies.
“This rule amounts to a massive tax increase on those Americans least able to pay it,” Palmer said. “The Ratepayer Protection Act would shield states from being forced or coerced into complying with this unwise and possibly illegal rule. I am glad to support this first step toward rolling back EPA’s overregulation.”