Today, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the Administration’s plans to roll back the Clean Power Plan (CPP). If implemented, the CPP would have constituted a federal take-over of the electricity system and resulted in a significant increase in energy prices for American families and businesses with little-to-no positive impact on the environment.
For the last two years, State Policy Network and the network of free-market state think tanks have worked to educate policymakers and the public about the consequences of this unprecedented usurpation of state power. At the same time, the network has encouraged sensible environmental protections and energy production policies that fit the needs of state and local communities. This approach is balanced and responsible since state and local policymakers have the best incentives and knowledge to make energy and natural resource policies that promote economic growth and protect their environments.
In response to the EPA’s announcement, Montana Policy Institute Executive Director Brett Mead stated, “The Clean Power Plan would have cost thousands of Montanans their jobs by making Montana energy more expensive. Not just folks working at the power plant or the mine, but school teachers, police officers, and nurses. These folks should not lose their livelihood over a plan that will have minimal impacts on air quality in the state, because Montana already does a good job protecting our air and water quality.”
David Stevenson from Delaware’s Caesar Rodney Institute remarked, “The EPA misused its power to create the Clean Power Plan. The regulation was illegal, overreaching, and used false information to try to take over management of the entire electric grid. It would have cost Americans between $50 and $100 billion a year, and reduced grid reliability, for marginal real benefits. Administrator Pruitt is doing exactly the right thing bringing integrity back to the EPA, returning to the core EPA purpose of cleaner air and water, cutting poor regulations, and devolving responsibility back to the states.”
Jennifer Butler, senior policy advisor at State Policy Network, said, “This move by the EPA recognizes that Washington should not be in the business of forcing costly one size fits all regulations and red tape on the states and hardworking American families. State and local policymakers are better equipped and incentivized to make the right, common sense decisions for their communities when it comes to both protecting the environment and making sure their homes and businesses have reliable and affordable energy.”