Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PA Business Groups Back Legal Effort To Overturn EPA Clean Power Climate Plan

The PA Chamber of Business and Industry, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Texas Association of Business Wednesday filed a joint amicus brief with 166 chambers of commerce and business groups from 40 states in support of a lawsuit by states and industry to overturn EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”
EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations, which were finalized in August of 2015, seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector as a whole. The brief outlines the significant detrimental impacts the rule will have on communities throughout the nation.
While the U.S. Supreme Court recently recognized the validity of these concerns by imposing a stay in the implementation of the plan, a final ruling on the legality of the regulations still needs to occur to provide certainty to all stakeholders.
“EPA’s own documents in support of this rule show that the net impact on climate change will be minimal,” PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said. “We are handicapping ourselves while both developed and developing nations are increasing their emissions. Pennsylvania has shown that a free and competitive energy market can deliver emissions reductions; the command-and-control approach EPA is using is both unnecessarily costly and legally questionable.”
The brief said EPA has admitted that the plan will increase energy prices nationwide, while doing little to lower overall greenhouse gas emissions.
An independent analysis by NERA Economic Consulting projected the plan will increase energy prices nationwide; with Pennsylvania’s prices expected to increase 14-16 percent, Ohio’s by 12-17 percent and Texas’s by 13-18 percent.  Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania are among the leaders of electricity production and total manufacturing output.
These projected increased energy costs will create economic ripple effects on both the state and national levels.  
A copy of the amicus brief is available online.  Click Here for a list of local chambers of commerce who signed on to the brief.   The complete announcement is also available online.
DEP Secretary John Quigley told the York Daily Record Wednesday DEP hasn’t “taken our foot off the accelerator here,” and plans to continue its efforts to develop a Pennsylvania plan for meeting the EPA Clean Power Climate Rule’s September deadline for submitting a plan.
Secretary Quigley told DEP’s Citizens Advisory Council at its February meeting DEP is aiming to have a draft plan available by Memorial Day for public comment.
DEP held 14 public listening sessions around the state last Fall to gather ideas on what should be in Pennsylvania’s plan.
An update to DEP’s broader Climate Change Action Plan is out for public review.  The deadline for comments is March 30.
For more information, visit DEP’s Climate Change webpage.
Related Story:
DEP Climate Change Action Plan Update Comments Due March 30

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