ATR Releases Coalition Letter Calling on States to Challenge the Clean Power Plan
Americans for Tax Reform released a letter this week, signed by a coalition of 16 other organizations, which urges Governors and State Attorney Generals to challenge the legality of President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” and to resist submitting a state plan until legal challenges are resolved.
With the publication of the Clean Power Plan in the Federal Register today, legal challenges may now be filed, and it is important that states do so to protect their ability to ensure residents continue to have access to reliable, affordable and safe energy. The Clean Power Plan is not only slated to increase electricity rates by double-digits in over 40 states, but will cost more than $350 billion and destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs nationwide.
Opposing this egregious overreach by the federal government will send a strong message to Washington. As stated in the letter:
“By choosing to challenge the legality of the carbon rule and by resisting premature implementation, states are sending a clear message to President Obama and the EPA that they will not be subjected to such unlawful and outrageous federal overreach that threatens both state sovereignty and the affordability and reliability of the U.S. electrical system. Instead of bending to the will of the Obama Administration and EPA’s overzealous regulatory regime, states should work to uphold their sovereignty and to protect the well being of their citizens and businesses from this onerous and unlawful regulation.”
See the full text of the letter below.
October 22nd, 2015
We, the undersigned organizations, respectively urge you to use all means at your disposal to challenge the legality of President Obama’s onerous carbon regulation, the so-called “Clean Power Plan.” We also encourage you to resist submitting a State Implementation Plan (SIP) under this unlawful and economically disastrous rule.
States should not be forced to cede power over their own electrical system to the federal government, especially when the carbon rule’s legality remains in question. As Harvard Law Professor and Obama mentor Laurence Tribe has stated, the rule “lacks legal basis” and “is a remarkable example of executive overreach and an administrative agency’s assertion of power beyond its statutory authority.”
Given the widespread criticism of the carbon rule’s legality, it should come as no surprise a growing number of states are preparing to submit litigation challenging the President and EPA’s actions in court once the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Legal scholars overwhelmingly agree that the carbon rule is not just void of statutory authority and illegal under the Clean Air Act, but that the rule is also in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
Challenging the legality of the carbon rule is a positive first step, but more is needed. States should also resist taking steps that would put the state on a path toward implementation, in particular submitting an initial SIP. The choice to submit a SIP under the carbon rule would be disastrously premature for states because it can set in motion a process that will cause irreversible damage, despite the ongoing, unresolved legal challenges to the rule. To submit a SIP before the surrounding legal issues are resolved ignores what has been learned from similar challenges to EPA rules.
As recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in Michigan v. EPA, the EPA’s Mercury regulation was ruled to be legally unsound. However roughly 40 gigawatts of generating capacity had been prematurely shut down in response to the rule despite the fact the legal challenges had not yet been resolved. To begin implementing the new carbon rule before legal resolution would repeat the mistakes of the past, diminish a subsequent legal victory, and cost millions in wasted taxpayer dollars.
Furthermore, Obama’s carbon rule amounts to a federal takeover of the electricity system and is a direct affront to state sovereignty, setting a dangerous precedent for state and federal relations going forward. Traditionally the regulation of power production, distribution and consumption has been left to the states. However by choosing to submit a SIP states will be effectively surrendering that traditional power to the federal government, permanently compromising sovereignty over their own electrical system.
By choosing to challenge the legality of the carbon rule and by resisting premature implementation, states are sending a clear message to President Obama and the EPA that they will not be subjected to such unlawful and outrageous federal overreach that threatens both state sovereignty and the affordability and reliability of the U.S. electrical system.
Instead of bending to the will of the Obama Administration and EPA’s overzealous regulatory regime, states should work to uphold their sovereignty and to protect the well being of their citizens and businesses from this onerous and unlawful regulation. It is for these reasons we respectively urge you to join other states in challenging the legality of the carbon rule and to resist submitting a state plan.
Americans for Tax Reform
American Energy Alliance
Americans for Prosperity
Competitive Enterprise Institute
Texas Public Policy Foundation
Hispanic Leadership Fund
Taxpayers Protection Alliance
Energy and Environmental Legal Institute
60 Plus Association
The Heartland Institute
National Black Chamber of Commerce
Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce
Independent Women’s Forum
Independent Women’s Voice
Idaho Freedom Foundation
PDF Link to letter.