Senators urge Obama to reconsider climate regs

Twenty-two senators implored President Obama on Friday to halt plans to impose new emission limits on existing power plants, warning the forthcoming regulations would hit ratepayers in their pocketbooks.

In a letter spearheaded by Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntGOP senators eager for Romney to join them Senate GOP wary of ending Russia probes, despite pressure GOP on precipice of major end-of-year tax victory MORE (R-Mo.), the lawmakers urged Obama to “consider the burden to ratepayers before moving forward with plans to increase regulation.”

The appeal comes ahead of a June deadline for the Environmental Protection Agency to propose a rule placing new restrictions on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from plants. Together with a previously issued draft rule for new plants, the regulations represent the central pillar of the president’s plan to counter the effects of climate change through dramatic GHG reductions.

Obama’s regulatory approach follows the failure of federal legislation with similar aims.

“Even if met, this goal, which was developed with no input from Congress, will have no measurable effect on global temperatures,” the lawmakers said of Obama’s administrative effort.

“The goal will nonetheless cost consumers in the form of increased prices for energy and anything made, grown, or transported using energy,” they wrote.

Signatories to the letter were predominantly Republican, though Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMcConnell to Dems: Don't hold government 'hostage' over DACA Lawmakers see shutdown’s odds rising Senate campaign fundraising reports roll in MORE, a Democrat from coal-reliant West Virginia, also added his name.

“Whatever our disagreements might be on how best to approach a changing climate, we think we can all agree that whatever we do should not burden ratepayers and consumers, especially middle and low-income families, with new costs,” the lawmakers wrote.