Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates criticized the proposed Clean Power Plan rule released by President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency Monday and called on Governor Terry McAuliffe to delay implementation of the rule because of the likelihood of litigation and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a previous EPA rule.
“The E.P.A. rule released today is not only another example of an overreaching federal government, but more importantly it will drive up energy costs for hardworking Virginians and further damage our already struggling economy,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The United States Supreme Court just struck down one of the E.P.A.’s last major regulations and litigation over this rule is virtually guaranteed. Governor McAuliffe should delay implementation in Virginia to provide families and businesses with certainty while the case is litigated.”
“Seven years ago, President Obama promised that under his energy plan, ‘electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket,'” said House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights). “The State Corporation Commission staff estimates this rule could mean $6 billion in higher electricity costs for the working poor, senior citizens and people all across the Commonwealth. It is clear that President Obama has followed through on his promise. Governor McAuliffe should protect families, the working class, seniors and businesses by delaying the implementation of this rule until any lawsuits are finalized.”
Speaking about the regulations, House Commerce & Labor Chairman Terry Kilgore (R-Scott) said, “No area of the Commonwealth has felt the effects of the Obama-Clinton-McAuliffe war on coal more than Southwest Virginia. These regulations are another striking blow to our way of life. Coal-fired power plants will be forced to close, meaning less demand for coal and fewer jobs at home. At the same time, the people without jobs because of these regulations will face higher energy prices. This is a punch to the gut for Southwest Virginia.”
“Whether you live in Southwest Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley or inside the suburbs of Northern Virginia, Central Virginia and Hampton Roads, you will feel the effects of these overreaching regulations,” said House Republican Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax). “These mandates will ripple throughout the economy, raising energy prices for business that will be undoubtedly be passed on to customers. Virginia’s economy is already struggling. We reported zero percent growth in the first quarter and recently fell to 12th on CNBC’s list of Top States for Business. President Obama and Governor McAuliffe’s regulatory policies will only make it that much more difficult for us to recover.”
“When I work with people looking to buy a home, energy costs are always one of their biggest concerns,” said House Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas). “Unfortunately because of the Obama-Clinton-McAuliffe agenda, those energy costs are going up, making it harder for working-class families to afford a home and harder for seniors to stay in their homes. The billions of dollars this rule will cost our economy pales in comparison to the human costs it will impose.”
“California billionaire Tom Steyer and his liberal environmentalist allies gave Governor McAuliffe over $3.3 million during his campaign,” said Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah). “The Governor faces a choice. Either side with the extremist donors who bankroll him and his good friend Hillary Clinton, or fight for the cash-strapped Virginians who are going to suffer from new regulations by paying much higher monthly energy bills. Unfortunately, I think I already know the answer.”