U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) announcement that it has approved the Clean Power Plan, which could increase electricity bills for Americans across the country:
“The Obama EPA strikes again,” said Thune. “If there is one thing for which the EPA can be counted on, it is the repeated issuance of rules and regulations that stifle growth and make life harder and more costly for American families and entrepreneurs. This backdoor national energy tax will hurt jobs, cause costs to skyrocket, and threaten grid reliability. While all South Dakotans are likely to feel the pain of this burdensome new regulation, low-income families and seniors living on fixed incomes will be hit the hardest. I will continue to fight for South Dakotans and do all I can to see that this rule is reversed.”
The EPA’s final rule will require a 32 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2030, targeting America’s affordable and reliable coal generation. For South Dakota to meet its state reduction target, the recently overhauled Big Stone Plant would likely have to shut down for at least part of the year. The plant, which is nearing completion of a $384 million environmental upgrade to meet the EPA’s Regional Haze and Utility MACT regulations, will soon be among the cleanest in the country. Yet, under the Clean Power Plan, this investment would be stranded and its sunk costs passed on to ratepayers.
In January, Thune urged EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to withdraw the proposed regulations on existing power plants.