May 13, 2015

Manchin, Capito and Group of Senators Introduce Legislation to Roll Back “Clean Power Plan”

“The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act enables us to fight back against the assault on coal, and the broader threat to affordable, reliable energy nationwide”

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today joined Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to introduce The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA),which will help rein in President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan while also ensuring reliable and affordable energy, putting jobs and our economy first, and curbing federal overreach.

“The EPA’s carbon emissions rule jeopardizes the reliability and affordability of the electricity that millions of Americans use to power their lives every day,” said Senator Manchin. “The agency’s regulations will threaten the stability of our electric grid, low electricity prices, countless jobs in the energy, production and manufacturing sectors, and the American economy. That is simply unacceptable. The EPA cannot place unreasonable regulations and unobtainable standards that will undoubtedly strangle energy production. This legislation will ensure that the EPA’s regulations are based on demonstrated technology that is commercially available across the United States, which strikes the proper balance between our environment and our economy.”

“President Obama’s misguided ‘Clean Power Plan’ threatens to drastically reduce coal-related jobs, increase energy prices and reduce reliability. After carefully considering the economic and legal implications of this unprecedented proposal, the need for action is clear,” said Senator Capito. “The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act enables us to fight back against the assault on coal, and the broader threat to affordable, reliable energy nationwide. I am proud to lead the charge against the ‘Clean Power Plan’s’ sweeping regulations and look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to move this very important legislation forward.”

Key provisions of the bill include:

Prevents mandates for unproven technology: Before EPA can set a technology-based standard for new power plants, the standard must first be achieved 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 are reliant on federal support – from being used to set the standard.

Extends compliance dates: The bill would extend the rule’s compliance dates 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 GHG 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 states for noncompliance with the “Clean Power Plan.”

The ARENA Act, 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.

Please click here to learn more about the ARENA Act.

The bill is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), John Boozman (R-Ark.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Tom Tillis (R-N.C.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.).