House Republicans press EPA to nix climate rule

House Republicans are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its new proposal mandating existing power plants cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The letter to the EPA comes on the same day the House held its first hearing on the new carbon rules.

"We believe that the authority to limit carbon emissions, even if that were actually a necessity, rests in neither the Constitution nor the Clean Air Act but in the true free market of individual choices made by the American people," the letter, spearheaded by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and signed by 84 House Republicans, states.

The proposal, which seeks to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030 from 2005, was unveiled earlier this month.

Since the announcement, Republicans have hounded the agency for overreach, and claim the standards will shutter coal plants.

"We believe this carbon dioxide regulation — whose implementation is legally questionable at best — would do untold harm to the American people and our economy for decades to come," the letter states. "We demand that you immediately rescind this unwise and unconstitutional regulation."

Despite the pushback, the EPA contends the rules are legally sound, and will work with states to make them as flexible as possible.