States Fight Back Against Obama’s Climate Rules

Six governors say they’re not playing along with the EPA’s game.

Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Michigan v. EPA, governors in several states have indicated they will reject new EPA regulations on greenhouse gases that will needlessly drive up energy costs and harm power industries.

The new regulations set to take effect next month call for states to devise plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from their energy plants. The EPA believes it has the authority under the Clean Air Act to force compliance for states that don’t write their own plans. Governors of six states are prepared to call the EPA’s bluff, setting the stage for a major legal battle that could unravel Barack Obama’s draconian environmental policy.

Republican governors Mike Pence (Indiana), Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana) and Greg Abbott (Texas), as well as Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia), have all gone on record stating their intention to fight the new law.

“The EPA’s latest attempt at imposing burdensome regulations represents an unprecedented meddling with Texas in order to push the Obama administration’s liberal climate change agenda,” said Gov. Abbott.

Gov. Walker wrote that in considering the “staggering costs it would inflict on Wisconsin’s homes and businesses … it is difficult to envision how Wisconsin can responsibly construct a state plan.”

The Court’s rejection of EPA’s overreach in the Michigan case put the agency on notice that it can’t make up its own laws. The EPA in that case had decided to reject an established statute in the Clean Air Act in determining the cost of emissions rules.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) urged governors in a letter to reject this new EPA regulation in the wake of the Michigan ruling, and his staff has been working with state-level environmental officials and regulators to craft a legal strategy to protect them from the EPA’s latest power grab.

“As governors begin to seriously look at what these plans will look like,” said spokesman Robert Steurer, “we expect more and more governors will follow Senator McConnell’s lead.”

In turn, we’d urge McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner to remember that Congress holds the purse strings. As the EPA continues its lawless regulation under Obama, defund it. Play hardball.

The Obama administration hopes this new emissions rule will be the spearhead of its environmental policy to fundamentally shift electricity generation from fossil fuels to more “environmentally friendly” forms of energy. But there are several problems with this line of thought.

There is little infrastructure in place for a widespread shift to green-energy production nationwide, and the existing technology is so expensive that energy prices for consumers would “necessarily skyrocket,” to borrow Obama’s phrase. Not that the administration cares about that. Additionally, the labeling of a natural gas like carbon dioxide as a pollutant is an arbitrary claim with no scientific basis made by arrogant government bureaucrats, and it has unfortunately gone unchallenged by many in the scientific community. Furthermore, there is solid evidence that global warming has actually stalled in the last 18 years, negating the need for implementing expensive policies that will have virtually no impact on the environment.

It will surely be an embarrassment for Obama and the EPA if states openly reject this latest environmental action in the months leading up to the international climate change meeting in Paris, where governments are expected to fully support hamstringing the world economy to fight global warming.

This latest battle with the EPA could be a litmus test for the Republican presidential nomination, with two announced and at least one potential candidate already leading the resistance. Republican voters will surely be watching to see just who has the chops to stand up for federalism and combat the gross bureaucratic overreach that has been a hallmark of the Obama years.

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