Oklahoma officials criticize Obama ‘Clean Power Plan’

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said the final version of the Clean Power Plan announced by the Administration is unlawful because the EPA does not have the legal authority under the Clean Air to regulate carbon emissions from the electricity generating plants covered by the final rule.

“The president could announce the most ‘state friendly’ plan possible, but it would not change the fact that the administration doesn’t have the legal authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from these sources because these sources are already being regulated and the Act prohibits this sort of double regulation,” Pruitt said. “The most important detail left out, however, is the fact the Clean Power Plan threatens the reliability and affordability of power for consumers and business across this country. Oklahoma is suing the EPA over the Clean Power Plan because we are asking the federal government to comply with the Clean Air Act, not because we need more time and flexibility to implement this unlawful plan. My office will continue to challenge the EPA as long as the administration continues to pursue this unlawful rule.”

A lawsuit filed in federal district court by the state of Oklahoma challenges the EPA over the Clean Power Plan because it forces Oklahoma into fundamentally restructuring the generation, transmission, and regulation of electricity in such a manner that would threaten the reliability and affordability of power in the state.

President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” will require an approximately 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from Oklahoma power plants by 2030.

“President Obama’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ represents one of the most expansive and expensive regulatory burdens ever imposed on U.S. families and businesses,” Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said. “The EPA’s new rules will have minimal environmental benefits; they will, however, threaten our fuel diversity and lead to significant increases in utility costs across the country.

“Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been helping to lead the charge against the White House and the EPA’s overreach. I continue to support his efforts in the courtroom. Oklahoma, not the federal government, knows best how to protect our environment while also supporting our economy.”

The Clean Power Plan increases the target of 30 percent proposed in the draft rule. States must submit implementation plan drafts by 2016, with final versions coming due in 2018. The final rule also includes incentives for states that invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency prior to 2022.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, criticized the plan announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“The Environmental Protection Agency has managed to take a bad deal and make it worse,” Inhofe said. “The Obama administration has no concern for costs, no concept of reality and no respect for the rule of law. President Obama, and his EPA know that Americans do not support his costly carbon mandates, as most prominently on display when the U.S. Senate expressly rejected such an economically disastrous idea by failing to pass cap-and-trade legislation in 2009.

“EPA’s final rule will force Americans to replace dependable, affordable energy with high-cost, unreliable alternatives and generations of energy consumers will be left footing the bill.  The so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) primarily relies on a federally mandated shift towards wind and solar which makes up less than five percent of our electricity grid and has taken our nation decades to achieve. Yet the CPP will demand Americans reduce its fossil fuel dependency until renewables are 28 percent of electricity production by 2030. This is unachievable without great economic pain, a burden President Obama thinks the American people should bear for the sake of his legacy.”

Inhofe said the Obama’s plan will hurt poor people.

“Despite the president’s rhetoric, the so-called Clean Power Plan will be most harmful to low-income and minority communities,” Inhofe said. “Our seniors will be forced to choose between medical care and meals while paying for a multi-billion dollar rule that has no measurable impact on global warming. The final CPP makes clear that this administration is not concerned with economic upheaval or the longstanding legal consequences that threaten the fabric of our Constitution so long as the president’s reckless political agenda is advanced and legacy achieved.

“Under a new Republican majority, the Senate is ready to push back on these destructive regulations. My committee will begin by marking up S.1324, the Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act sponsored by Clean Air Subcommittee Chairwoman Sen. Shelley Moore-Capito, R-West Virginia, and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, so that it can be ready for full Senate action this fall,” Inhofe said.  “I am also working with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on two Congressional Review Act Resolutions of Disapproval to overturn both the new and existing source rules.”