Ratepayer Protection Act passes House, heads to the Senate

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Washington D.C. The Environmental Protection Agency is under attack again from Congressional Republicans—
This time over a plan the Obama administration enacted last year—to cut down on greenhouse gases.
Some lawmakers say your electric bills will rise and the regulations could be illegal.

Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield along with several of his colleagues say they are fed up with the EPA’s regulations on energy.

“This is a world-wide problem and there’s no reason for the president of the united states to unilaterally punish America for what we’ve already accomplished,” said Whitfield. “It’s such a power grab, unprecedented, that we are going to take it up on the floor today to delay this radical regulation.”

Therefore Whitfield introduced a bill called the Ratepayer Protection Act to delay the implementation of the Clean Power Plan until the Supreme Court rules if the regulations are constitutional.

“Under this regulation, for the first time ever the EPA is setting the standard for every state in America,” said Whitfield.

Bill Bissett represents the Kentucky Coal Association and he says these proposed regulations are unconstitutional and will have a dramatic affect on your pocketbook.

“As that cost goes up, especially in Appalachia where we can’t afford those huge increases, we’re going to be hurt the worst,” said Bissett.

According to the EPA’s website, they say the Clean Power Plan, aims to cut down on greenhouse gases such as CO2 emissions from coal-fired power plants, and leads to climate and health benefits—worth an estimated 55-93 billion dollars in 2030. They also claim the plan avoids premature deaths by getting rid of the pollutants.

However Bissett doesn’t totally agree with that assumption and thinks the American coal industry should not be heavily regulated.

“It’s important to realize the coal-fired power plants in this county only emit 3-percent of the man-made carbon of this plant and if all of them were to close tomorrow it would only decrease 3-percent which would be quickly made up by all the other coal-fired power plants all over the world,” said Bissett.

The Ratepayer Protection Act passed the House 247-180 on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the Senate for a vote.