States aren't buying what the EPA is selling
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The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants have been hotly contested since proposed last June. While the EPA continues its campaign to paint the proposal as a win for consumers, a number of states and federal lawmakers have been quick to unveil what the proposal truly is: a ticking time bomb.

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The EPA's Clean Power Plan will have a domino effect leading to disaster. Once set forth in motion, the effects will be swift and felt by all. These standards — issued at the federal level — fail to consider the cost impacts that will burden state economies, and worse, underserved communities. The proposal will essentially force an overreliance on costly, less-reliable alternatives that will cause electricity rates to go through the roof, placing a heavy toll on Americans', and particularly minorities', wallets.

In fact, analysis released by Energy Ventures Analysis last November revealed just how severely the proposal will impact household budgets. According to the study, electricity costs could increase nearly $300 billion in 2020 while the average household's electricity and natural gas bills would grow by a whopping $680 annually. To put that in perspective, that's a 35 percent increase to consumers.

African-American business owners simply cannot withstand that kind of hit to their bottom line. Faced with their energy costs doubling, and perhaps even tripling, many will be forced to close up shop. Similar to these businesses, families across the country will fail to meet these rising costs and be forced to resort to drastic measures, including energy rationing and living without other basic necessities.

As these realities hit home, it's hardly a surprise that opposition is intensifying.

Since proposed last year, officials representing more than half of the country — 28 states total — have called on the EPA to withdraw its Clean Power Plan. Though the Obama administration views these actions as "red tape," these officials are validated in their actions and have cited credible concerns ranging from reliability threats and cost implications to the EPA's lack of legal authority to even impose the standards.

Federal lawmakers have also been quick to voice the serious dangers associated with the proposal.

In March, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellCoronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks Overnight Health Care: Ohio governor tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of Trump's visit | US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead | Trump: COVID-19 vaccine may be ready 'right around' Election Day MORE (R-Ky.) took action to protect states from the administration's harmful energy policy by issuing a letter to the National Governors Association outlining his concerns. McConnell's letter detailed the burdensome and costly effects of the illegal proposal while stressing that even if enacted, the plan will have little — if any — impactful effect on mitigating global greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA's refusal to listen to the growing opposition only further risks putting our economy in a downward spiral. I urge states, therefore, that have not yet openly opposed the EPA's illegal mandate to stand up and join the growing list of lawmakers who are already standing up to this outlandish overreach.

Alford is co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce.