Wicker, Cochran Call on President to Revoke New EPA Rules

June 4, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., today signed a letter along with 39 Senators calling on President Obama to withdraw the recently announced Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

“This burdensome EPA rule would lead to higher energy costs, job losses, and have little effect on changing the climate,” Wicker said. “The rule is a no-win situation for Americans who already face tough economic conditions. I urge the President to withdraw this onerous rule without delay.”

“Mississippians will be forced to pay for another Obama environmental rule that is based on questionable legal authority and rosy cost-benefit guesses by the EPA. We’ve already seen the how the administration’s ozone rules can cause economic uncertainty in places like DeSoto County,” Cochran said. “The administration should revoke this new rule and work with energy providers to find more acceptable ways to meet clean air standards without hurting families and businesses.”

The extensive letter to President Obama notes the undue strain this policy would put on low-income families and the elderly who pay a larger proportion of their income on energy costs. Hindering coal as a power source would be detrimental to families and manufacturers, many of whom rely on coal as their main source of energy.

The letter also questions the President’s authority to force states to reduce emissions, stating, “In your haste to drive coal and eventually natural gas from the generation portfolio, your Administration has disregarded whether EPA even has the legal authority under the Clean Air Act to move forward with this proposal, the dubious benefit of prematurely forcing the closure of even more base load power generation from America's electric generating fleet, and the obvious signal this past winter's cold snap sent regarding our continued need for reliable, affordable coal¬fired generation.”

Sen. Wicker, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, spoke out against EPA’s new regulation before an Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.

The letter was authored by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. David Vitter, R-La. Other Senators signing today’s letter include James Inhofe, R-Okla., John Barrasso, R-Wyo., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, John Boozman, R-Ark., Deb Fischer, R-Neb., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Thune, R-S.D., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Pat Toomey, R-Pa., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Mark Kirk, R-Ill., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, James Risch, R-Idaho, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., John Hoeven, R-N.D., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Rand Paul, R-Ky., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Dan Coats, R-Ind., Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio.