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Blunt Underscores Support for Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy Rule

October 17, 2019

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) urged his colleagues to vote against a measure that would have stopped the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule and reinstated the burdensome Obama-era energy regulations known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The Senate subsequently rejected the measure.

Missourians have historically relied on coal to power more than 80% of our electricity, and Blunt has consistently fought to protect Missouri families from the costly impacts of the CPP. As Blunt noted in his remarks, the CPP would have dramatically driven up utility costs for families, farmers, manufacturers, and small businesses.

In June, Blunt praised the EPA for finalizing the ACE pule, having previously voiced his support for the plan when it was first announced in August 2018. In February 2018, Blunt commended the EPA for holding a listening session in Kansas City, Mo., to hear Missourians’ feedback on the proposed repeal of the CPP. In October 2017, Blunt praised the EPA’s announcement that it would issue a new rule withdrawing the CPP.

Following Are Excerpts from Blunt’s Remarks:

“Mr. President, the next vote, the vote we'll take in less than an hour, is a vote that would exercise the Congressional Review Act, which I'm a supporter of. The idea that we should use the Congressional Review Act is a good thing for us to look at what any administration does and determine if that's the right way to go. Today, I certainly intend to vote to maintain the position that the administration's had on the Affordable Clean Energy rule. This is a rule that will have very positive impact on our state, just like the rule it replaces would have had very negative impact.

“We're in the top five coal using states for energy in our state. What the Obama administration’s rule would have done -- the massive energy regulations -- would have imposed billions of dollars in compliance costs that would have been passed along every single time that someone harvests a crop, flicks on a light switch, shops for groceries, or walks into the door at work. Under the Obama-era rules, families in Missouri would have faced double-digit utility price increases, and in fact, the average Missourian’s utility rate would have doubled in something like a decade. This would put that rule, a vote for this Congressional Review Act, would put that rule into effect as opposed to the rule that replaces it. …

“I was on this floor, Mr. President, many times talking about this rule prior to the 2016 elections. It had been held in abeyance by courts that said, ‘no, it went too far. The administration didn't have the ability to do what they were trying to do.’ When I was on the floor all those times talking about what this rule would do to our state and our economy and similar things all over the country, what I said was, ‘next time you write your utility check, just write it out of your checkbook again because within a decade that's exactly what you'd be doing. You'd be paying twice as much in Missouri for utilities as you're paying right now.’ The cost would have gone up and it would have happened quickly. Thankfully, President Trump and the administration, with the support, frankly, I believe today of Senate Republicans will have charted a new course resulting in huge strides toward American energy independence.

“We're doing that on other fronts. In fact, September and August [2018] were the first two months in 37 years that we had been a net exporter of energy, not an importer of energy. Energy self-sufficiency is important, and is particularly important when you really have an all-of-the-above strategy. From oil, from natural gas, from nuclear, from wind, from solar, all of those things are now part of a portfolio of energy that needs to grow, but doesn't need to grow in a time that cripples American families when they try to pay their bills or frankly when they try to get a job. To become a net exporter of energy, we've done all those things while we were still cutting emissions, carbon dioxide emissions in the power industry are down 28% since 2005 without the Clean Power Plan ever having gone into effect.

“The EPA’s Affordable Clean Energy rule strikes exactly the right balance, in my view, and I believe today the view of the majority of my colleagues, between reducing emissions and ensuring that Americans can still continue to have access to reliable, affordable energy. Many families, the energy cost is one of the big things they have to think about when they think about their budget. In fact, for many families, there's not much of a budget to think about. You pay whatever you're paying for your housing and then you pay your utility bill, and then you see what's left over. The luxury of actually getting to have a technical budget about how you're going to do all the things your family would like to do doesn't happen all too often now. It would happen much less often if the utility bill is twice what it is today.

“The action we take here today, supporting the Affordable Energy rule and walking away from the Clean Power rule, will make a difference for those families. It makes a difference in the utility bill at home, and it makes a difference in the utility bill at work. Lots of jobs just simply don't work at twice today's utility bill. It was a foolish rule. It's been properly replaced with a rule that makes sense. I urge my colleagues to vote to maintain the rule that we're headed to rather than the one that we're running away from.”

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