Republican senators push Obama to repeal EPA proposal

Forty-one Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday urging him to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulations to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

The senators said the rules would increase electricity costs, reduce consumers’ disposable income and result in job cuts.

“This proposed rule continues your administration’s effort to ensure that American families and businesses will pay more for electricity, an important goal emphasized during your initial campaign for president, and suffer reduced reliability as well,” the senators wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Hill first reported the letter Tuesday, when senators were distributing a draft of it and only 28 had signed it. Wednesday’s letter was identical to Tuesday’s draft, except for an additional 13 signatures.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterPlanned Parenthood targets judicial nominee over abortion comments Trump nominates wife of ex-Louisiana senator to be federal judge Where is due process in all the sexual harassment allegations? MORE (La.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenators introduce bill to overhaul sexual harassment policy The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Republicans see some daylight in midterm polling Exclusive: Bannon says Rosenstein could be fired 'very shortly' MORE (Ky.) led the letter-writing effort. The signers included John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoSenate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA Watchdog to probe EPA email preservation MORE (Wyo.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — VA reform bill heads to Trump's desk Senate panel to consider ban on prescription drug 'gag clauses' Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (Tenn.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyFormer US attorneys urge support for Trump nominee Dem leaders request bipartisan meeting on Russia probe Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — House passes 'right to try' drug bill | Trump moves to restrict abortion referrals MORE (Iowa) and John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA GOP lawmakers want Trump to stop bashing Congress Chao names participants selected for drone pilot program MORE (N.D.).

In addition to the cost concerns, the senators said the EPA’s proposal runs afoul of the Clean Air Act and its limits on executive power.

It also includes elements of a cap-and-trade system, but Congress has rejected bills to institute cap-and-trade multiple times before, they said. The EPA’s rules do not actually include cap-and-trade, but they would allow states to use it to comply with their emissions-reduction targets.

“At a time when manufacturers are moving production from overseas to the U.S. and investing billions of dollars in the process, we are very concerned that an administration with a poor management record decided to embark on a plan that will result in energy rationing,” they said.

The senators sent the letter the same day McConnell tried to pass a bill that to block the EPA’s rules. McConnell tried to pass the bill by unanimous consent, but Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell not yet ready to change rules for Trump nominees The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by CVS Health — Trump’s love-hate relationship with the Senate Trump to press GOP on changing Senate rules MORE (D-Nev.) blocked the move.

Every Republican senator signed the letter except John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.).