Senators Isakson, Perdue Co-Sponsor Legislation To Roll Back EPA’s Job-Killing Power Plan

Will ensure reliable, affordable energy, put jobs first

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and David Perdue (R-GA) this week joined a bipartisan group of senators in introducing legislation to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) massive proposed new rule to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act will ensure reliable and affordable energy, put jobs and the economy first and curb federal overreach.

“Georgia’s families and businesses depend upon affordable, reliable electricity,” said Senator Isakson. “They want to know that the lights will turn on when they hit the switch. The EPA’s proposal will limit Americans’ energy choices and create unfavorable economic conditions for stakeholders without producing any tangible environmental benefits.”

“President Obama’s executive overreach has created a Constitutional crisis in this country, and his latest power grab through the EPA will hurt American families and businesses,” said Senator Perdue. “Georgians and all Americans deserve a government that takes steps to grow the economy rather than put in place more burdensome energy regulations. I will continue to fight for a smarter energy policy and prevent President Obama’s EPA from this audacious overreach.”

The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act was introduced by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and co-sponsored by 21 senators, including Isakson and Perdue. Key provisions of the bill include:

•    Prevents Mandates For Unproven Technology: EPA would be prohibited from setting a technology-based standard for new power plants until the proposed new standard must is proven to be achievable for at least one year at several separate power facilities throughout the country. The bill also prevents the EPA from using any demonstration projects –projects that rely on federal support – from being used to set the standard.

•    Extends Compliance Dates: The bill would extend the compliance dates of the EPA’s proposed new greenhouse gas emissions rule pending final judicial review, including the dates for submission of state plans.

•    Holds EPA Accountable: This bill would require EPA to issue state-specific model plans demonstrating how each state could meet the required greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the rule.

•    Enables States To Protect Ratepayers: The bill would provide that no state shall be required to implement a state or federal plan that the state’s governor determines would negatively impact economic growth, negatively impact the reliability of the electricity system or negatively impact electricity ratepayers. 

•    Protects Highway Fund Dollars: The bill would prevent the EPA from withholding highway funds from any state for noncompliance with the proposed new greenhouse gas emissions rule, which the EPA is calling the Clean Power Plan.

The legislation, which takes into account EPA’s proposed regulations for both new and existing power plants, also requires EPA to submit to Congress a report describing the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions the Clean Power Plan is expected to reduce, and to conduct modeling to show the impacts of the rule on the climate indicators used to develop the rule.