Republican senators push Obama to repeal EPA proposal

Forty-one Republican senators sent a letter to President Obama Wednesday urging him to withdraw the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed regulations to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

The senators said the rules would increase electricity costs, reduce consumers’ disposable income and result in job cuts.

“This proposed rule continues your administration’s effort to ensure that American families and businesses will pay more for electricity, an important goal emphasized during your initial campaign for president, and suffer reduced reliability as well,” the senators wrote.

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The Hill first reported the letter Tuesday, when senators were distributing a draft of it and only 28 had signed it. Wednesday’s letter was identical to Tuesday’s draft, except for an additional 13 signatures.

Sen. David VitterDavid Bruce VitterThe biggest political upsets of the decade Red-state governor races put both parties on edge Louisiana Republicans score big legislative wins MORE (La.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRepublicans give Barr vote of confidence Democrats block two Senate abortion bills VA could lead way for nation on lower drug pricing MORE (Ky.) led the letter-writing effort. The signers included John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoWhere do we go from here? Conservation can show the way Senators to meet with Zelensky after impeachment trial GOP senators defend Sondland, Vindman ousters: They weren't 'loyal' MORE (Wyo.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderLawmakers raise alarms over Trump coronavirus response Bill Barr is trying his best to be Trump's Roy Cohn The Trump administration's harmful and immoral attack on children MORE (Tenn.), Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyMcSally unveils bill to lower drug prices amid tough campaign Ernst endorses bipartisan Grassley-Wyden bill to lower drug prices Overnight Health Care: Nevada union won't endorse before caucuses after 'Medicare for All' scrap | McConnell tees up votes on two abortion bills | CDC confirms 15th US coronavirus case MORE (Iowa) and John HoevenJohn Henry HoevenSenate drama surrounding Trump trial starts to fizzle Bottom Line The Hill's Morning Report — Schiff: Clear evidence of a quid pro quo MORE (N.D.).

In addition to the cost concerns, the senators said the EPA’s proposal runs afoul of the Clean Air Act and its limits on executive power.

It also includes elements of a cap-and-trade system, but Congress has rejected bills to institute cap-and-trade multiple times before, they said. The EPA’s rules do not actually include cap-and-trade, but they would allow states to use it to comply with their emissions-reduction targets.

“At a time when manufacturers are moving production from overseas to the U.S. and investing billions of dollars in the process, we are very concerned that an administration with a poor management record decided to embark on a plan that will result in energy rationing,” they said.

The senators sent the letter the same day McConnell tried to pass a bill that to block the EPA’s rules. McConnell tried to pass the bill by unanimous consent, but Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDemocratic insiders stay on the sidelines in 2020 race Harry Reid calls for end to all caucuses Reid pushes back on Sanders suggestion that a Democrat with plurality of delegates should be the nominee MORE (D-Nev.) blocked the move.

Every Republican senator signed the letter except John McCain (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine), Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.).