U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt: Senate Bill 676 protects Oklahoma businesses, families from EPA’s overreach
By U.S. SEN. JIM INHOFE & ATTORNEY GENERAL SCOTT PRUITT
As two of the most ardent critics of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, we are pleased Oklahoma is taking a leading role at the state and federal level in challenging the administration’s attempt to use EPA regulations to set forth a national energy plan. For years, state environmental regulators worked to improve the state’s air quality and protect the health of local citizens. Despite long-standing success, the Obama administration is attempting to commandeer the role of state environmental regulators, taking it a step further to dictate what type of power can be used to power Oklahoman’s homes and businesses.
In order to comply with the proposed rule, Oklahoma, for instance, would be required to cut power plant emissions of carbon dioxide by 35 percent. With coal and natural gas making up 90 percent of Oklahoma’s electricity supply, EPA knows there are only so many ways Oklahoma can achieve its arbitrary goals. EPA’s plan threatens energy affordability and reliability for consumers and businesses by forcing states into shuttering coal-fired power plants and eventually other sources of fossil-fuel-generated electricity.
The EPA doesn’t have the authority under the Clean Air Act to impose this rule. Under the act, states are to submit a plan for emissions reductions, and EPA retains the authority to enforce those plans. State governments are then left with two options: submit no plan or submit a plan that would surrender sovereign powers of a state over its electricity markets to federal bureaucrats.
At the federal level, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee has held two hearings in the 114th Congress with witnesses from EPA as well as state regulators. The committee will continue to hold these oversight hearings to highlight the problems with the Obama administration’s plan while Congress works toward effective legislative solutions to limit and roll back EPA’s proposals.