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Senator Blunt Says New EPA Rule Would Mean Job Losses, Higher Energy Bills for Missourians

August 03, 2015

WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) today issued the following statement regarding the final release of the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan for existing power plants:

“Middle and low-income families are hit the hardest by bad energy policies resulting in higher utility bills, as these families already spend a larger part of their paycheck on their energy bills,” said Blunt. “Electric service providers in Missouri have warned that the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan will raise energy costs for Missourians, reduce jobs, and hurt our state’s economic competitiveness. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought hard to ensure provisions that would defund this harmful power grab were included in the final appropriations bill. I also support legislation to block this harmful rule and protect workers and families from the damaging effects of the Obama Administration’s executive overreach and costly energy regulations. I’ll continue to fight this misguided Clean Power Plan, and protect families, workers, and consumers in Missouri and nationwide.”

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 Environmental Protection Agency 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. To view Blunt’s remarks at a recent press conference regarding the introduction of the bill, click here.

In December 2014, he filed comments urging the EPA to withdraw the proposed CPP 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 are 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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