WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today made the following statement in response to President Trump’s executive order to review the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power Plan” rule. The order broadly establishes a policy directive to reduce U.S. dependence on other countries for energy and highlights key steps for administrative agencies.
“Energy independence is a priority for President Trump, and I will work with him to help put an end to the job-killing war on coal waged by the Obama Administration,” Wicker said. “The decision to review the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan,’ a regulation so intrusive that even the Supreme Court halted its implementation, is good news for Mississippi’s energy sector and consumers. The new Administration is working to support the middle class, protect American jobs, and develop pro-growth environmental policies that produce actual results.”
President Trump has repeatedly called for a much-needed reversal of President Obama’s climate rules. National Economic Research Associates has estimated the rules would cost as much as $39 billion a year and prompt double-digit increases in electricity rates in most states.
In February 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued an unprecedented stay against the “Clean Power Plan” to prevent the entities challenging the rule – which included 27 states, 37 rural electric cooperatives, and 3 labor unions representing 878,000 union members – from suffering “irreparable harm.” In Mississippi, compliance would devastate coal-fired plants and require new infrastructure, disrupting energy reliability and leading to higher utility costs.
In addition to a review of the “Clean Power Plan,” the executive order includes:
- Lifting the ban on federal leasing for coal production; and
- Lifting job-killing restrictions on the production of oil, natural gas, clean coal, and shale energy.
In the 114th Congress, Wicker voted in support of two measures aimed at blocking implementation of EPA’s costly rule. Specifically, the bills would have reversed the Administration’s restrictive regulations for new and existing coal-fired power plants.
According to a 2015 study, there are nearly 60,000 Mississippians employed in energy jobs, and the energy sector contributes $6.7 billion to the state’s gross domestic product.