June 21, 2015

VOTE ALERT: Tell Congress To Vote For The Ratepayer Protection Act

The U.S. House of Representatives may vote this week on legislation that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to extend the compliance dates for its pending regulation regarding emissions from existing power plants until federal courts have fully addressed legal challenges to that rule. 

As Connecting the Dots first reported last week, MSCI supports this legislation (H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act) and, with the National Association of Manufacturers and the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, last week sent a letter to all members of the U.S. House asking them to support it. The final EPA rule is expected to be released this August, but there will be several legal challenges to the regulation. MSCI and its partners believe the EPA should let these cases go forward before requiring that U.S. states comply with it since implementation will costs the states millions of dollars. 

H.R. 2042 would require that and would also provide that no U.S. state will be required to implement a state or federal plan that the state’s governor, in consultation with other relevant state officials, determines would have a significant adverse effect on that state. 

The letter sent last week argued that the EPA’s rule will cost consumers and businesses between $366 billion and $479 billion to comply with – figures that correspond with a 12 percent to 17 percent increase in electricity rates. The letter also notes, “Officials from more than two dozen states have said that EPA should withdraw its proposal, citing concerns such as higher energy costs, threats to reliability and lost jobs.” Those officials also said “that EPA’s proposed rule goes well beyond the agency’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act” and notes “more than a dozen states have already joined in a lawsuit against the rule.” 

It is also important to note that the EPA’s rule may do nothing to improve the health of Americans

As noted above, the House could vote on H.R. 2042 this week. MSCI urges its members to call their representatives in the U.S. House to ask them to support H.R. 2042, the Ratepayer Protection Act of 2015. 

For the latest on the legal challenges to the EPA power plant rule, read this story

In other news: the EPA also released a draft regulation that would require manufacturers to increase fuel efficiency standards on heavy duty trucks. This rule will also likely increase energy costs for MSCI members and the broader manufacturing industry. Stay tuned for more information about the economic impact of this rule as it becomes available.