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Lawmakers press Obama to rescind climate rule

A group of bipartisan lawmakers is urging President Obama to withdraw the administration’s climate regulation on carbon pollution from existing power plants.

In a letter sent to Obama on Friday, 102 members of Congress argue the proposal would “dramatically” change the way “we generate, transmit and consume electricity in the United States.”

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Six Democrats joined 96 Republicans in signing the letter, which argues the Environmental Protection Agency proposal would “threaten electricity reliability and drive up energy costs.”

“This rule is simply unworkable as proposed and, if finalized, would effectively give EPA control over a state’s generation, supply, and consumption of power,” the letter states.

Opponents of the rule, which mandates that the nation’s fleet of existing power plants cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, argue it will hurt coal miners, negatively impact the economy and drive up costs.

The EPA contends that coal is already losing its competitive edge and being pushed out by natural gas without any regulations. The rule seeks to curb earth-warming greenhouse gases and help prevent asthma and respiratory problems among children and adults, the EPA says.

EPA chief Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyTrump's pick for EPA chief could clean up Obama mess An opportunity to return balance to energy policy Why Trump needs a strong Agriculture secretary MORE has stressed that the rule is “flexible” and allows states to design a plan based on its energy sources.

Still, Republicans have vowed to delay or block the rule through legislation, or spending bill riders, next year when the party takes control of the Senate.

Rep. Sanford Bishop (Ga.), one of the Democrats who signed the letter, blasted the EPA for “overreaching its authority.”

“The proposed EPA rule would mean higher energy costs for consumers and would have a detrimental impact on our nation’s economy. Congress cannot and must not allow that to happen now and into the future,” Bishop said.