Tim Phillips

“…Our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet.” If only these words spoken by our president during his State of the Union address were actually true. The energy industry is the latest victim of Obama Administration overreach. Under the guise of addressing global warming, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan that would require all states to make drastic reductions in carbon emissions. In essence, this forces them to use less coal and effectively mandates a transition to more expensive and less reliable energy sources like wind and solar – regardless of cost or effectiveness.

Through the regulatory power of the EPA, the Administration is attempting a hostile takeover of the electricity sector that should be resisted by all who care about a thriving economy and believe in a balance of power between federal and state governments.

The rule as proposed, will burden the economy, eliminate jobs, and raise the utility bills of families and businesses-- hitting the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes the hardest at a time when they can least afford it. More broadly, it will shrink the role of states in regulating and coordinating their electricity system and lead to an unprecedented expansion in the size and power of the federal government.

In order to successfully resist these regulations, a few points must be emphasized.

First, it is critical that states understand that they themselves are the real targets of these policies. The energy producers will experience some discomfort, but the regulations are designed to help them shift costs along to their customers. At risk is the states’ ability to regulate their generation, to ensure reliability, to use native resources, and to adapt to economic and

demographic change. The rule as proposed, is the most egregious example of federal micromanagement of an economic sector in our lifetimes.

We need to bring the states ­ whether blue, red, purple or otherwise - together in a coalition to resist. State legislators, public utility commissioners and local environmental agencies need to make it clear that the states, not the federal government, possess the proper authority to regulate and provide for the energy needs of their residents.