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Putting the Pinch on Mississippi Power Plants: New Federal Coal Regulations

WASHINGTON, D.C.–New federal regulations on carbon emissions from coal power plants could put the pinch on facilities in Mississippi. In fact, it could put them out of business and people out of work, said Sen. Roger Wicker.

“The Administration’s overreach would force many Americans out of work, leaving them with a multi-billion-dollar bill in the process,” said Wicker.

“Low-income families, in particular, are likely to take the biggest hit from higher energy costs and increased prices on consumer goods. Many states, like Mississippi, are finding that the plan’s standards are prohibitively expensive and ultimately unattainable. It is important to remember that these regulations have nothing to do with cutting smog or achieving cleaner air.”

The goal of the new regs is to make the environment cleaner by cutting down on emissions, but the cut is even more than was originally expected by regulators and power companies.

“With this clean power plan by 2030, carbon pollution from our power plants will be 32 percent lower than it was a decade ago,” said Pres. Obama.

Wicker said he believes that’s a federal overreach.

“The White House has no business unilaterally picking winners and losers when it comes to the nation’s energy portfolio. I hope Congress will soon take action to rein in the Administration’s potentially unlawful plan. With so much at stake – the economy, people’s livelihoods, and the environment – President Obama should pay less attention to his legacy and more time working with Republicans on policies that would actually create jobs, help the middle-class, and protect the environment.”

From a Wicker news release:

Last month, Wicker was joined by Mississippi’s entire congressional delegation in sending a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) calling for an investigation into whether carbon dioxide reduction goals associated with the Clean Power Plan are achievable at a reasonable cost – specifically for Mississippi.

Wicker is a cosponsor of the “Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act,” S.1324, introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. The bill, which is scheduled to receive a vote in the EPW Committee on August 5, would prevent implementation of new EPA rules regulating coal-fired power plants.

The legislation would also allow states to opt out of complying with the new regulations while preventing the federal government from tying highway funding to a state’s implementation of the regulations. Finally, the measure would allow state governors to refuse to implement the regulations if they determine that the EPA regulations would slow economic growth, decrease the reliability of the electrical system, or increase energy rates – adding oversight and transparency to arcane EPA regulations.

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