Recent Press Releases

Washington, D.C. —  Senator John Thune yesterday introduced an amendment to the Interior and Environment Appropriations bill currently before the Senate that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from moving forward with regulations taxing carbon emitted by stationary sources, such as power plants, refineries, and factories, if those regulations are projected to raise electricity and/or gasoline prices as determined by the Energy Information Administration. The EPA is expected to release an endangerment finding soon that would trigger new regulations under the Clean Air Act, including the regulation of carbon dioxide.

"Unilateral regulation of carbon dioxide emissions by the EPA could cost Americans their jobs, increase energy prices, and have a disproportionate impact on rural areas like South Dakota, all while failing to address the root issue of global greenhouse gas emissions," said Thune. "By moving forward with their endangerment finding, the EPA could impose a new tax on American energy consumers without open debate in Congress. Over regulation could easily put the United States at a competitive disadvantage with developing nations such as China and India, where environmental protection takes a back seat to economic development."

Pending the outcome of the final endangerment finding, the EPA might be legally bound to regulate all sources that emit over 250 tons of carbon dioxide annually. This could lead to new taxes on over 1 million carbon emitting entities nationwide, including commercial buildings, schools, churches, and restaurants in addition to power plants, refineries, ethanol plants, and manufacturing facilities.

In addition to his own amendment, Senator Thune is cosponsoring an amendment with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) that would prohibit the EPA from moving forward in the next year with any carbon tax on a stationary source.

"Carbon regulation is too important for the EPA to act without Congressional consent," added Thune. "The American people, through their elected representatives, deserve to have a voice in this discussion. New carbon regulations could have significant consequences for all American consumers, and therefore should not be a result of closed door policymaking by the Obama administration."