FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas Business Organizations Join 166 Organizations on Amicus Brief
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Texas Association of Business filed on February 24, 2016 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.” [Ed. Note: Colorado Business Roundtable is among the 166 chambers and business groups to join this brief.]
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 debate about whether we truly understand the scientific basis of climate change should continue – hopefully based on actual facts, valid scientific evidence and objective analysis,” Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond said. “What cannot be debated is that the Clean Power Plan is not only far outside of EPA’s legal authority, it will affect a miniscule percentage of global emissions and have virtually no measurable effect on sea levels or temperatures, while significantly increasing electric bills for consumers. Even EPA cannot dispute that. While we applaud the move by the US Supreme Court to stay the rule, we look forward to the opportunity through the legal process to expose this rule for what it is – an illegal attempt at assuming federal control of each state’s electric power system and energy economy.”
“This is a yet another example of overreach by a federal government agency,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Andrew E. Doehrel. “The EPA’s actions would impose costly regulations that totally ignore the huge negative impacts on America’s job creators at a time when businesses are finally starting to get back on their feet after the Great Recession.”
The brief explains that states have a long history of making “sustained environmental progress without causing economic harm,” in large part due to their “sensitiv[ity] to the unique circumstances of individual businesses and communities.” The business groups argue that the Clean Power Plan instead adopts a “blunderbuss approach” that “compel[s] states, utilities, and suppliers to adopt EPA’s preferred sources of power and fuel and to redesign their electricity infrastructure.” This rushed redesign of the electricity sector “will raise the cost of operations for countless businesses … drive jobs overseas and force businesses to close,” while disproportionately impacting poor and rural communities. As such, the groups assert that “the rule’s massive economic costs far outweigh its limited environmental benefits.”
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.
To view the amicus brief, visit http://www.pachamber.org/CPPAmicus
In addition to the three state business organizations, several local chambers from within each state signed onto the brief.
Media contact info:
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
Tricia Harris, Manager of Communications
Phone: (717) 720-5447
Texas Association of Business
Robert Wood, Communications Director
Phone: (512) 477-6721 ext 105
Ohio Chamber of Commerce
Julie Wagner Feasel, Vice President, Communications