In an op-ed in The Lexington Herald-Leader on Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell advised states to ignore EPA regulations on emissions from power plants intended to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.
“The Obama administration’s so-called ‘clean power’ regulation seeks to shut down more of America’s power generation under the guise of protecting the climate,” McConnell wrote.
Going on, he said that while the proposed regulations would have no impact on climate change and would, in fact, negatively impact the financial well-being of working Americans who are already struggling.
Stating that the regulations are “unfair and probably illegal” McConnell went on to say:
“I’m calling for others to join. Here’s why. Every state has the power, in theory at least, to design its own approach to meet the excessive and arbitrary mandates imposed by this regulation. But the purported flexibility is actually illusory.”
This is not true of course, states have the right to challenge federal laws and regulations in court but not the right to nullify them out of hand on their own.
Writing that “the legal basis for this regulation is flimsy at best” McConnell cited an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in 2014 by Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law Professor to both President Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts, in which he questioned the legality of the regulations.
Tribe did question the legality of the rules but he did not suggest that states take it on themselves to ignore or nullify the rules, he simply stated that in his opinion they could not pass Constitutional muster.
McConnell doesn’t care about that however, he wants the states to join and ignore the rules doing as they see fit instead, saying:
“Refusing to go along at this time with such an extreme proposed regulation would give the courts time to figure out if it is even legal, and it would give Congress more time to fight back. We’re devising strategies now to do just that.
So for now, hold back on the costly process of complying. A better outcome may yet be possible.”
McConnell claims that his home state of Kentucky is already suffering due to the administration forcing power producers to convert from coal-fired generation of electricity in favor of natural gas when there is actually a much simpler reason for many of those conversions. It is cheaper to produce electricity with gas than it is with coal, about half the cost of coal-fired plants.
h/t: Ring of Fire