Paul Ryan says climate rule is illegal

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the administration's regulations aimed at cutting pollution from existing power plants are "outside the confines of the law."

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast on Wednesday, the GOP's 2012 vice presidential nominee said the new rules would hurt the economy and cost the country jobs.

ADVERTISEMENT
"When I see the debate about climate change come down to advocating reforms or taxes or regulations or policies that won't even solve the purported problem, all they end up doing is making the U.S. economy less competitive," Ryan said.

He added that the regulations, which require the nation's fleet of existing power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, are "outside of the confines of the law" and don't "solve the purported problem."

"So I don’t see a solution here," he said. "I see an excuse to grow government, raise taxes and slow down economic growth."

Ryan also argued that climate change "occurs no matter what" and scoffed at Democrats for attempting to keep global temperature changes below 2 degrees Celsius to stave off impacts of climate change.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy has said she is confident the regulations will survive any legal challenge, and has stressed that the agency has full authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions.

"I will not go out of gate with a rule that doesn't respect the Clean Air Act, and isn't legally solid, just for the purpose of raising my hand and saying I fixed it," McCarthy said earlier this month when asked about possible lawsuits against the carbon proposal.

Republicans have ramped up opposition to the president's carbon pollution regulations, and climate agenda, this week as the administration launched an extensive public relations push to rally support for the rules.

The EPA started public listening sessions to hear feedback on the rules on Tuesday and will hold the last one on Friday. People will be able to submit comments on the rules via email, letter and fax until Oct. 16. 

More in Energy & Environment

EPA urges homeowners to cut greenhouse gas emissions

Read more »