GOP govs press Obama to drop climate regs

Nine Republican governors wrote to President Obama on Monday asking him to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed carbon pollution limits for power plants, saying the rules would cost millions of jobs and billions of dollars.

The governors said their push against the rule is part of an effort toward a policy that balances economic needs and energy security against environmental quality.

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“In an unprecedented move, your [greenhouse gas] emissions plan would largely dictate to the states the type of electricity generation they could build and operate,” they wrote.

“In addition, you seek to essentially ban coal from the U.S. energy mix,” they said. “Your pursuit of this objective will heavily impact those of our states that rely primarily on coal for electricity generation.”

The letter was signed by the governors of Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

The rules unveiled June 2 would assign each state its own goal for reducing carbon emissions by 2030, with a national effect of a 30 percent reduction. The EPA expects the rules to reduce coal’s market share in electricity by about 27 percent.

To make their case against the rules, the governors cited a 2008 statement in which Obama said his cap-and-trade proposal would cause electricity rates to skyrocket, in addition to EPA testimony that the United States alone cannot make a difference on climate change.

“Disposing of these regulations will protect Americans from the costs and burdens the rules would impose upon them and will ensure the continuation of America’s energy renaissance, which is indispensable to our country’s economic recovery and job creation and which is largely a result of state policies,” the governors said.

They also asked Obama to withdraw the EPA’s joint proposal with the Army Corps of Engineers to redefine the federal government’s jurisdiction over bodies of water through the Clean Water Act.

Though West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D) did not sign onto the letter, his state’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey sent Obama a letter earlier this month saying the EPA is likely to face a lawsuit over the regulations.