House GOP leaders say court challenges underline need for Clean Power Plan limits

April 16, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today heard oral arguments in two cases challenging EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide from existing power plants. The legal challengers, which include 15 states, argue EPA is acting outside its statutory authority by attempting to regulate sources that are already regulated under another section of the Clean Air Act. A number of legal experts have testified in front of the committee over the rule’s legal infirmities, including Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe who argued today on behalf of the petitioners. He told the committee last month that EPA’s power grab was akin to “burning the constitution.”

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) said, “Today’s argument highlights the unprecedented attempt by EPA to vastly expand its regulatory authority over state electricity systems without congressional authorization. Despite a host of legal questions, EPA expects states to move forward with costly compliance plans that could put jobs and access to affordable and reliable energy in jeopardy. To protect states and their ratepayers, we are advancing legislation that delays EPA’s compliance requirements until the courts can have their say first.”

The Ratepayer Protection Act is a practical solution to protect consumers from EPA’s regulatory overreach and to ensure states have ultimate control over their electricity systems. Given the considerable legal challenges to EPA’s proposal, the legislation would allow for completion of judicial review of any final rule before requiring states to comply. The Ratepayer Protection Act also ensures that a state would not be forced to implement a state or federal compliance plan if the governor finds it would have significant adverse effects on ratepayers or reliability. To learn more about this commonsense legislation, click HERE.