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Your Power Bill and the Federal Government: Wicker Questions EPA Leader on Obama Administration’s Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C.–New federal regulations could make your monthly light bill go way up. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan could mean Mississippi’s power plants may have to close. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) had some questions Tuesday for Janet McCabe, a top official at the EPA.

The questions were part of a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing regarding the economic implications of what Wicker called the President’s air agenda.

“Holding two internet-based seminars and a few discussions on state-specific information does not constitute an ‘unprecedented outreach effort,’” said Wicker. “Officials at Mississippi’s Department of Environmental Quality have told me that the EPA used regional data to impose requirements on the states and did not equip them with the tools to do the job. EPA should have used state-specific information, rather than larger regional data, because the requirement is going to be placed on the states and not on some regional governance.”

The President’s Clean Power Plan, which was unveiled in August 2015, would impose strict carbon dioxide emission standards on power plants. Wicker was joined by Mississippi’s entire congressional delegation in sending a letter to EPA, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the White House Office of Management and Budget 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. A final version of the rule is expected to be released on October 1.

“Even those who agree with the goal of the President’s clean air agenda are saying that the EPA’s plan cannot work for Mississippi. One power association in the state would have to double its total assets to comply with the renewable energy requirements. This is a regulation coming at states and consumers that is going to explode the cost of power and be unachievable for people who are trying to do the right thing.”

The Center for Regulatory Solutions released a report Tuesday stating that an additional reduction in ozone standards, as proposed by the Clean Power Plan, would not have an effect on asthma rates. The report quotes Roger McClellan, former chairman of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory committee, as saying: “The EPA and the environmental lobby claim a stricter ozone standard is needed to reduce asthma cases. But these claims rely on much higher ozone levels from decades ago. Recent history does not support this claimed connection. In fact, for well over a decade, asthma cases have increased by millions while ozone concentrations have declined.”

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