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Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Obama's EPA vs. the States

The EPA is working to make the price of electricity skyrocket.

Paul Albaugh · Apr. 14, 2015

Barack Obama must be ecstatic. With all of the media coverage of candidates entering the presidential race and the Leftmedia virtually giving the administration a pass on the bad Iran nuke deal, other important news gets pushed to the back of the list — like Obama’s EPA working to make the price of electricity skyrocket.

Part of Obama’s quest in “fundamentally transforming America” is to combat climate change, which according to this administration is a greater threat to our national security than terrorism, illegal immigration or a nuclear armed Iran. Obama has less than two years left in office, but there is more of his agenda to be completed. And he’s enlisting the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out his goals on energy policy.

The EPA is expected to finalize a new rule this summer that will require states to regulate the “production, distribution and use of electricity” in order to meet carbon-reduction targets. The Wall Street Journal says, “This is an unprecedented federal usurpation of what has been a state responsibility since the invention of the modern steam turbine in the 1880s.”

Under Obama’s Clean Power Plan that he issued last year, the EPA will set carbon-reduction mandates on every state, with the goal of reducing emissions by 30% by 2025. It fulfills Obama’s promises in 2008 that under his plan “energy prices would necessarily skyrocket” as coal plants are shutdown to meet this regulatory burden.

Regulations supposedly beneficial for the environment might seem harmless enough, but there is much more to this mandate that is quite concerning to those who love Liberty.

According to Chris Prandoni of Forbes, in order for states to reach the proposed carbon-reduction mandates, the EPA “told states there are four different tools each state can use to meet these mandates: improve the efficiency of coal plants, force fuel switching from coal to natural gas, bring more renewables online, and reduce consumer electricity consumption.”

We bet the EPA is hoping the last “tool” — to require states to “reduce consumer energy consumption” — is the one most states primarily employ. If implemented, this tool would be pure tyranny. Consider not being able to heat or cool your house to the temperature that you so desire. How about using what the EPA deems too much electricity?

The EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to force states to comply with the proposed Clean Power Plan, but, if states were to submit a State Implementation Plan, it would give the EPA the power to use the “tools” instead of the state. Why? Because if the EPA doesn’t like a State Implementation Plan, then the EPA would have the power to revise it or throw it out entirely. What happens if a state decides it doesn’t want to submit a State Implementation Plan? Then the EPA gets to issue a Federal Implementation Plan, therefore giving the EPA the “tools” to make that state meet the mandates. It’s a lose-lose situation for state sovereignty that sounds remarkably like ObamaCare exchanges.

Fortunately, several states are already saying no to the EPA. And, according to The Wall Street Journal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “urging Governors to wait before cooperating” with the hopes that the courts will intervene and rule the EPA can’t force the states to do something they can’t or don’t want to do.

Of course, Obama scolded McConnell for getting in the way of his climate agenda, which is ironic because Obama seems to have no qualms about interfering with congressional authority, state sovereignty or individual freedom.

Obama has also enlisted the help of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). The Heartland Institute’s Paul Driessen reports the council has been tasked with “dramatically retooling the 1970 National Environmental Policy Act,” which “requires that federal agencies consider the impact of their significant decision-making actions on ‘the quality of the human environment’ any time they issue permits for projects, provide government funding or conduct the projects themselves.” This is politi-speak for shutting down fossil fuel production.

Obama and the EPA have been relentless in their quest for power, all in the name of saving the planet. The states, the courts, Congress and We the People must fight against the climate change lie. We have already sacrificed far too much Liberty on the religious altar of environmental protection.

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