A - White House

This week the Obama Administration and EPA unveiled the final version of their carbon emissions rule under the Clean Power Plan. The finalized carbon rule will not only prove disastrous for American consumers and the economy, but is the greatest example of executive overreach to date. 

ATR President Grover Norquist issued the following statement today on the release of final rule:

“The President and EPA’s Clean Power Plan is all burden with little or no benefit. For a promised 0.02 degrees decrease in global temperatures by 2100 and a reduction in sea level the thickness of 3 sheets of paper the President is willing to enact certain damage to American jobs and growth.  The rule is projected to cost more than  $350 billion, destroy hundreds of thousand of jobs annually and cause double-digit electricity rate increases in over 40 states.  The president is trying, late in his term, to create a “legacy” at the expense of the future of working men and women in America.”  

The carbon rule, which imposes inflexible and economically irresponsible reduction targets for each state, originally sought a 30 percent emissions reduction goal nationwide. However the final rule unveiled this week increased the reduction goals to 32 percent, a move that will surely exacerbate the disastrous economic impacts originally projected. 

The impact of increased rates and job losses under the rule will prove particularly devastating to the millions of low and middle income Americans already struggling under the President’s failed policies. American families with average household incomes of less than $25,000 spend an estimated 17 percent of their budgets on energy. A double-digit increase in energy costs will force many families to choose between necessities such as shelter and medical care, and putting food on the table each month. 

The final rule is also an outrageous affront to state sovereignty by threatening to impose a federal implementation plan if states fail to submit their own. States are now tasked with determining how best to defend their rights and protect residents from the widespread impacts of the rule.

A number of state Attorney Generals have already pledged to file lawsuits challenging the EPA’s authority to implement the rules, with more states expected to join in following this week’s release.  President’s Obama’s own legal mentor, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe, has even challenged the legality of the rule saying: 

“The Proposed Rule lacks legal basis and represents an improper attempt by EPA unilaterally to remake a vast portion of the American economy on the basis of hitherto obscure provisions of the Clean Air Act” and that it “is a remarkable example of executive overreach and an administrative agency’s assertion of power beyond its statutory authority.”    

The carbon emissions rule is devastatingly bad policy that threatens to compromise grid reliability, increase electricity rates and destroy the livelihoods of millions of hard working Americans. Even though the final rule has been released, the fight is far from over.

Americans for Tax Reform encourages lawmakers and state officials to continue to push back against the EPA and Obama Administration’s unconstitutional affront to state sovereignty and American prosperity. 


Photo credit: Justin Brown