Coalition Urges States to Actively Resist EPA's Coercive Power Plan


A broad coalition of free-market and conservative organizations sent this letter to state elected officials urging them to actively fight against the EPA's efforts to coerce them into adopting destructive anti-energy policies under the guise of the so-called Clean Power Plan.

Dear State Legislators, Attorneys General, and Governors:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is attempting to coerce states into adopting expensive, destructive, unlawful regulations, possibly including cap-and-trade, on greenhouse gas emissions – under the threat of even more draconian direct federal regulations. 

We urge you to fiercely resist any attempt to appease the EPA's demands. EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan (CPP) is illegitimate, an affront to both federalism and the separation of powers.

When Congress enacted and amended the Clean Air Act, it did not authorize EPA to restructure state electricity policies. If at any time during the past six years, a U.S. senator or congressman had introduced legislation containing the CPP’s emission-reduction requirements, the bill would have been dead on arrival.  Indeed, even when Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate, they chose not to consider House-passed cap-and-trade legislation.

Moreover, the CPP is unlawful and almost certain to be overturned. EPA stretches the pertinent statutory authority, section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, beyond all recognition. This obscure, seldom-used provision was designed to set technology-based emission standards for “particular sources,” aptly defined as “designated facilities” in EPA’s 1974-1975 implementing regulations. In the CPP, EPA illicitly treats the entire electric power sector of a state as a “particular source,” and illicitly sets emission standards based not on technologies specific to coal power plants but on the agency’s wish list of ‘green’ energy policies.

The Supreme Court recently cautioned EPA against interpreting the Clean Air Act in ways that “would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear congressional authorization.”

Evidently, EPA still cannot control its appetite for power.

Instead of trying to bargain with EPA, leaders like you should send a clear message to the federal government that if it insists on pursuing the regulatory equivalent of punitive energy taxes, it must promulgate and implement that policy itself -- and be held solely accountable for the disastrous consequences that will follow.

These regulations will destroy thousands of jobs and break the household budgets of millions of American families struggling to make ends meet -- even if states undertake their best efforts to blunt their impacts.

There is simply no feasible or responsible way to implement these greenhouse gas regulations without undermining economic growth.  Moreover, any attempt to do so would have zero environmental benefit as other countries will more than offset any decrease in U.S. emissions.

Worse, these heavy-handed regulations will render the United States less competitive in a global economy, sending more energy-intensive manufacturing facilities abroad in search of more affordable electricity. American workers jobs will be lost, and businesses and consumers will face higher prices.

You will never regret saying no and forcing the federal government to implement its own destructive agenda.  States that chose to implement their own health care exchanges learned this the hard way, as federal bureaucrats micromanaged every aspect of the exchanges and state-level politicians ended up being held responsible for the program's many failures.

Resistance to these regulations is not futile!

The 114th Congress will undoubtedly vote to overturn them, their prospects in court are dismal, and the next presidential election could bring an end to EPA’s war on coal.

State-implementation would entail buy-in from state policymakers and the creation of special interests in state capitals that would benefit from regulation at the expense of your constituents.  State actions may therefore persist even after the federal rule is rescinded.  A plan imposed by the EPA will be inherently easier to resist and reverse.

You have a responsibility to your constituents not to acquiesce in the face of the EPA's threats, but to fight vigorously against them.  We urge you to do so.


60 Plus Association

American Commitment

American Encore

American Energy Alliance

American Family Association

American Values

Americans for Limited Government

Americans for Prosperity

Americans for Tax Reform

Association of Mature American Citizens

Center for Civic Virtue

Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Center for Individual Freedom

Civitas Institute

Club for Growth

Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

Competitive Enterprise Institute

Energy & Environmental Legal Institute

Family Business Defense Council

Frontiers of Freedom

Heartland Institute

Heritage Action for America

Independent Women’s Forum

Independent Women’s Voice

Institute for Liberty

Maryland Taxpayers Association

National Center for Public Policy Research

National Tax Limitation Committee

National Taxpayers Union

Restore America’s Voice

Restore America’s Mission

Revive America PAC

Rule of Law Committee

Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

United for Missouri