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Blunt fights to protect Missouri families from energy price hikes
Blunt fights to protect Missouri families from energy price hikes

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 27, 2015) —  Today, Sen. Roy Blunt co-sponsored two bipartisan measures to stop the Obama administration’s excessive new regulations on American energy that will raise costs for Missouri families.

“The president’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ amounts to a new national energy tax that will stick hardworking Missouri families with higher utility bills and destroy jobs. Over eighty percent of Missourians rely on coal-fired electricity. The new costs imposed on American energy will be passed on directly to families and small businesses in the form of huge rate hikes, undermining economic growth and making it harder to make ends meet, especially for the most vulnerable Americans,” Blunt said.

“With these onerous regulations, the Obama administration is attempting to impose, by executive fiat, what it could not pass through a Democrat-controlled Congress. We’re fighting back, using the tools afforded to the Senate under the Congressional Review Act to stop the president’s plan. I urge all of my Senate colleagues to join the effort, and ensure that American families are not left footing the bill for the president’s misguided policies.”

The two measures Blunt co-sponsored today are S.J. Res. 23, which targets the Environmental Protection Agency’s final regulation for new and modified power plants, and S.J. Res. 24, which would overturn the EPA’s final rule for existing power plants.

Background:

According to the White House’s own estimates, the EPA’s regulations cost more than all other federal agencies, costing as much as $45.4 billion over the past 10 years. The EPA has also issued more significant rules than any other federal agency, finalizing a total of 32 regulations that will have a major impact on the economy. 

Blunt has been a vocal opponent to the Obama Administration’s costly energy polices and over-regulation. As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Blunt ensured important provisions were successfully included in the committee-passed fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill which will prevent the EPA from issuing the Federal Implementation Plan to States that don’t submit plans for existing power plant regulations under the so-called Clean Power Plan.

In May 2015, Blunt co-sponsored the bipartisan Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, legislation to rollback President Barack Obama’s burdensome EPA greenhouse gas regulations for both new and existing power plants.

In December 2014, he filed comments urging the EPA to withdraw the proposed rule for existing power plants.In January 2014, he led a bipartisan group of 21 Senators in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to stop punishing the most vulnerable American families with higher utility bills. 

Missouri Impact:

Missourians have historically relied on coal to power over 80 percent of our electricity and, as a result, enjoyed below average electricity rates in 2012. A study by Energy Venture Analysis on the effects of the CPP, combined with several recent EPA power plant regulations, found that Missourians’ annual electric and gas utility bills would cost around $1,000 more in 2020 as compared to 2012 – almost a 50 percent increase.

Missouri is home to 13 rural counties with persistent poverty, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Each of these counties is served by a rural electric cooperative. Rural electric cooperatives serve 93 percent of the nation’s persistent poverty counties and are almost 80 percent dependent on coal-fired power. Therefore, ratepayers living in rural poverty are among the most vulnerable to these EPA regulations. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association has warned that even a 10 percent increase in electricity prices would result in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021, with nearly 500,000 of those in rural communities.

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