Tags: mitch mcconnell | amendment | epa | regulations | white house | authority | passes

Senate Passes McConnell Amendment to Controversial EPA Proposal

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 10:58 PM

An amendment introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding the White House's authority to force-feed an EPA regulation to states passed in the Senate Thursday night.

The measure, which passed by a 57-43 margin, will stop President Barack Obama's administration from blocking highway funds to states that don't submit a proposal of how they will meet the EPA's emission targets.

McConnell said the amendment will keep Americans safe on the roads, The Hill reports.

"It says that Washington bureaucrats shouldn't be allowed to punish innocent Americans by threatening the roads and bridges they use just because a citizen's state may take a wait-and-see approach … as courts rule on EPA regulations," McConnell said.

The Kentucky Republican said the EPA regulations "would threaten the middle class without having a meaningful impact on the global climate anyway."

Called the Clean Power Plan, the EPA's proposed rule would aim to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. But the plan, critics say, is rife with problems, including the potential for blackouts and higher electricity bills.

Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, wrote last October that the EPA's proposal wouldn't do a whole lot while raising costs at the consumer level.

"While reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere by less than .5 percent, reducing sea level rise by the thickness of a few sheets of paper, and reducing the global average temperature by about 2/100ths of one degree, NERA expects the Clean Power Plan to increase electricity prices in 43 states by double digit percentages — some up to 20 percent — alongside the $41 billion per year the regulation will already cost both consumers and businesses," Norquist wrote.

"The proposal will lose us an estimated 45,000 megawatts of coal-based energy and stands to close down several coal plants, directly costing the livelihoods of their employees."

McConnell sent a letter to the National Governors Association last week that said the EPA is "failing to comply with the law" regarding its proposal, The Hill reports.

Three Democrats voted in favor of McConnell's amendment, a list that did not include Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey.

"[The amendment] seeks to undercut the president's clean power plan to address climate change and reduce carbon pollution," Markey said, reports The Hill.

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An amendment introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding the White House's authority to force-feed an EPA regulation to states passed in the Senate Thursday night.
mitch mcconnell, amendment, epa, regulations, white house, authority, passes, senate
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2015-58-26
Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 10:58 PM
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