Dr. Bucshon Votes to Protect Ratepayers from EPA Action
(WASHINGTON, DC) – On Wednesday, Eighth District Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. voted to pass, H.R. 2042, The Ratepayer Protection Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Ed Whitfield (KY-01), to protect families and businesses from significant electricity rate increases or reduced electric reliability that may result from EPA’s pending regulations for existing power plants, also known as the “Clean Power Plan.”
“This bill will protect the thousands of jobs and low-cost energy for our families and manufactures that are being put at risk by aggressive EPA overreach,” said Bucshon. “With 80 percent of Indiana’s energy generated from coal, the EPA isn’t just attacking our jobs and affordable energy; this plan will damage the reliability of our electric grid.
“States have serious concerns that this plan will increase their citizens’ electric bills. Just today, Governor Pence announced that Indiana will not comply with the EPA’s plan unless it is drastically improved, and I agree with his stance.”
H.R. 2042 passed the House by a vote of 247 to 180 and has gained support from over 200 organizations.
Earlier today, Governor Mike Pence announced that Indiana will not comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan in its current form. You can find Dr. Bucshon’s statement of support here - http://goo.gl/WWk84s.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced H.R. 2042 to allow for timely judicial review before states would be required to comply with the rule and to ensure a state would not be forced to implement a state or federal plan that would have a significant adverse effect on its ratepayers.
Extend Compliance Dates: The bill would extend the rule’s compliance dates pending judicial review, including the dates for submission of state plans.
Safe Harbor for 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, in consultation with other relevant state officials, determines would have a significant adverse effect on (i) retail, commercial, or industrial ratepayers; or (ii) the reliability of the state’s electricity system.
Last June, EPA proposed a rule for existing power plants, referred to by the agency as its “Clean Power Plan.” In the rule, EPA interprets a rarely invoked provision of the Clean Air Act, section 111(d), to allow the agency to set mandatory carbon dioxide (CO2) “goals” for each state’s electricity system. In the rule, EPA seeks to fundamentally change how electricity is generated, distributed, and consumed in the United States.
Under EPA’s unprecedented proposal, states would be required to submit complex state plans to EPA in 2016, and to begin to meet interim goals in 2020 and a final goal in 2030. For states that do not submit a satisfactory plan, EPA would impose a federal plan, a model of which has not yet been proposed by the agency. EPA estimates annual costs of $5.5 billion to $7.5 billion in 2020 and $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion in 2030. But according to other forecasts, the potential costs are much higher and could range from $366 billion to $479 billion over the period 2017-2031.
State governors, regulators, and other stakeholders have submitted extensive comments raising a wide range of concerns, from the legality of the rule to how it would be implemented, the significantly higher electricity costs, and the risks to electric reliability. According to a summary of state concerns, “32 states made legal objections, 28 raised significant concerns regarding compliance costs and economic impacts, 32 warned of electricity reliability problems, and 34 states objected to EPA’s rushed regulatory timelines.” EPA plans to finalize the rule this summer.
Congressman Larry Bucshon, M.D. is a physician and Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee serving his third term representing Indiana's 8th Congressional district. The 8th District of Indiana includes all or parts of Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Greene, Knox, Martin, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Sullivan, Vanderburgh, Vermillion, Vigo, and Warrick counties.