Before the EPA even issues widely anticipated clean air regulations for existing power plants, ALEC is moving to block them ahead of time.
By June, EPA will propose draft regulations that, for the first
time, reign in carbon emissions from existing power plants, which produce 40% of US carbon emissions, the biggest source by far.
EPA is giving lots of flexibility to the states. It will come up
with targets for emissions cuts, and states will have
until June 2016 to design their own plan for how they will
Conservatives aren’t waiting to see the proposal, they are leaping into action now. They will also contest rules issued last year for new power plants.
Only weeks into the 2014 legislative session, ALEC legislative members have introduced bills in over a dozen states, such as Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, reports Aliya Haq from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
As usual, ALEC’s main argument is their typical catchall – any regulations harm the economy and jobs. A factual analysis found the opposite – EPA is ranked as the most effective federal government agency. Benefits outweigh costs more than 10 to 1 for all major EPA regulations adopted in the past decade, according to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB).
What’s all the fuss about? EPA’s standards for new power plants – postponed for years because of special interest lawsuits – only require they be built with current best technology, the same as every other industry is asked to do in order to control pollution. To help these laggards out, EPA even says they can phase in the latest technologies.
Many public interest groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Media and Democracy, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Greenpeace and the Energy & Policy Institute among many others working to expose ALEC’s
secretive activity and curb polluter influence in state politics.
The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators – which formed in 1996 to counteract ALEC – is educating their network of state lawmakers to fend off these attacks.
"We expect ALEC’s attacks on the EPA to fail, especially since most legislators know their constituents want them to stand up to polluters and to protect their families from climate change," says NRDC.
But ALEC and its bevy of polluting special interests NEVER stop – they are taking the case to the Supreme Court.
What are ALEC’s priorities for 2014? Read our article, ALEC Gears Up For 2014; pushing natural gas, fighting regulations; pushing states to approve Keystone pipeline; attacking the renewable energy industry; eliminate corporate accountability; and more.