Miss. Senators Continue Push to Rein in EPA Overreach

Wicker, Cochran Cosponsor Bill to Stop EPA Emissions Regs, Allow States to Opt Out

June 4, 2015

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Thad Cochran, R-Miss., today announced their support of legislation designed to put a stop to proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.

The Affordable Reliable Electricity Now Act (S.1324), introduced by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), would prevent implementation of new EPA rules regulating coal-fired power plants. Cochran and Wicker have consistently opposed this new regulation, which could potentially increase energy costs for families and businesses in Mississippi and nationwide.

“These regulations are yet another example of EPA’s misguided overreach,” Wicker said. “Senator Capito’s proposed legislation would give states the authority not to implement regulations based on their individual cost-benefit analysis, ultimately protecting hardworking Americans from unfair and unnecessary burdens. States like Mississippi generate dependable and inexpensive energy in a variety of ways. The proposed rule on carbon dioxide emissions would close down 100 percent of our state’s coal-fired power plants, including power plants that have years of useful life remaining that spent billions complying with previous EPA regulations.”

“Time and time again, we’ve seen the Environmental Protection Agency attempt to implement an agenda that ignores the needs of hard-working Americans. Mississippi families and businesses need reliable, affordable energy. The EPA attack on power plants will endanger both,” said Cochran, who serves on the appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the EPA. “I’m proud to support this legislation to bring much-needed oversight and transparency to the agency.”

In addition to preventing implementation of certain new regulations, S.1324 would allow states to opt out of complying with the new EPA regulations while preventing the federal government from tying highway funding to a state’s implementation of the regulations. Finally, the Capito bill allows state governors to refuse to implement the regulations if they determine that the EPA regulations would slow economic growth, decrease the reliability of the electrical system, or increase energy rates—an important measure adding oversight and transparency to arcane EPA regulations.

Cochran and Wicker have long used their committee assignments to fight overreaching EPA regulations. This year, both Senators cosponsored the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S.1140), which would block a proposed expansion of the agency’s regulatory powers under the Clean Water Act. Additionally, Cochran and Wicker are cosponsors of S.Res.512, a resolution calling for the EPA to withdraw its proposed rules and guidelines related to carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The Senators have also directly called on President Obama to revoke the EPA’s new regulations.