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Senator Blunt Urges EPA To Withdraw Proposed Rule That Would Raise Energy Costs For Vulnerable Missourians & Reduce Missouri’s Competitiveness

January 26, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) filed comments last evening regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed Clean Power Plan (CPP) for existing power plants. In his comments, Blunt urges the EPA to withdraw the CPP, an unprecedented, sweeping action to regulate the entire U.S. electric power sector under Section 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act.
“Missouri electric service providers have warned that the CPP would increase energy costs for Missourians and reduce our state’s economic competitiveness,” Blunt wrote.

“The most vulnerable families and individuals among us are hit the hardest by bad energy policies resulting in high utility bills, because these are the consumers who already spend a significant amount of their disposable income on energy,” Blunt continued. “I ask that you withdraw the Clean Power Plan and conduct a full analysis of the effects of new power plant regulations on all ratepayers, especially lower-income communities, before moving forward.”

Last Monday, Blunt met with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Chemistry, Oil, Refining, and Manufacturing Associations to discuss the impact of EPA regulations on workers, manufacturers, and businesses in Missouri and nationwide. In January 2014, Blunt led a bipartisan group of 21 U.S. Senators in sending a letter to President Barack 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 recent 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.

A recent analysis from the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) found that, in 2013, more than 50 percent of families in Missouri earned on average $50,000 or less. According to U.S. Census Bureau Data used in the ACCCE analysis, these families devoted an average of 20 percent of their disposable income to energy costs in 2013.

Missouri is home to 13 rural counties with persistent poverty, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Each county happens to be 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.

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