Senator John Thune
South Dakota depends on affordable and reliable energy from coal and natural gas-fired power plants in the upper Great Plains. However, a new proposed rule out of the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) threatens to raise energy costs for families and businesses and restrict economic growth and job creation throughout our state and across the country. Recently, the EPA released a proposed rule that would require unrealistic new carbon standards for all new power plants. The cost of implementing this proposed rule on reliable energy sources far outweighs the benefits and represents yet another step forward in the president’s war on affordable energy.
The rule raises serious concerns about how this far-reaching and burdensome regulation will impact the nation’s energy supply and economic future. As two of the nation’s largest and most reliable sources of affordable electricity, the EPA is essentially forcing the hand of coal and natural gas-fired power plants to submit to the new source performance standards or face potential elimination in the marketplace. Unfortunately, the EPA’s performance standards are set to an unrealistic and arguably unattainable standard.
Instead of working through the proper channels in Congress to address the EPA’s concerns on power plant emissions, the administration yet again side-stepped Congress to implement this dangerous and far-reaching regulation. After the failure of the president’s own cap and tax legislation that also would have increased energy costs and destroyed jobs throughout the country, it is not a surprise that the president has taken to circumventing Congress to implement his climate change agenda.
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced his intention to file a resolution of disapproval to stop the EPA from imposing this new regulation. The resolution would allow for a vote to repeal the rule and prevent the regulation from being implemented. I plan to cosponsor the resolution of disapproval and will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to prevent the EPA from implementing this draconian rule and keep energy costs affordable for middle-class families across South Dakota and throughout our country.