By CAROLINE BECK, Alabama Daily News
Alabama’s Congressional delegation and state government officials are reacting to Tuesday’s announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency intends to replace the Obama Administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan rule with the Trump Administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule.
The Clean Power Plan was meant to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electrical power generation by 32 percent by 2030 to hopefully reduce furthering the effects of climate change. It would have required states to meet a specific standard to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted, but the plan was never officially enforced because the U.S. Supreme Court stayed it in 2016.
There was increasing controversy surrounding the CPP, especially for those in the coal mining industry whose business was threatened by the new regulations. The EPA said that the ACE rule would not have as many crippling regulations placed on coal mining plants but would still be concerned in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“The ACE Rule would restore the rule of law and empower states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide modern, reliable, and affordable energy for all Americans,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler in a statement. “Today’s proposal provides the states and regulated community the certainty they need to continue environmental progress while fulfilling President Trump’s goal of energy dominance.”
Alabama officials were asked by Alabama Daily News what they thought of the new rule and what it would mean for Alabamians. Here is who responded:
Senator Richard Shelby:
“The Clean Power Plan was a one-size-fits-all mandate by the EPA that fundamentally hurt businesses and restricted economic growth. We must instead set guidelines that are consistent with current law and respective of states’ rights. President Trump’s alternative rule ensures that states can reduce emissions and provide reliable power at an affordable cost for the American people.”
Representative Martha Roby:
“President Trump’s plan to roll back the Obama Administration’s so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ represents an important step towards returning power to the states and further dismantling the Obama-era regulatory regime. For eight long years, Alabamians suffered under an overly-empowered EPA that burdened hardworking men and women with countless overreaching regulations. I believe that American innovation and our unique entrepreneurial spirit are the keys to meeting the energy challenges of the 21st Century. The President’s proposed ACE plan embraces this outlook and will give Alabama businesses certainty moving forward.”
Attorney General Steve Marshall:
“The Alabama Attorney General’s Office has a history of actively opposing the Obama administration’s costly and overreaching Clean Power Plan. In fact, Alabama was one of 25 states calling for a stay of the CPP which was granted by the Supreme Court in 2016. Our attorneys are carefully reviewing the President’s new proposal.”
Representative Robert Aderholt
I applaud these changes. They will protect the environment while also protecting Alabama jobs. The Obama era rules were overreaching and job killing.
Caroline Beck is a reporter living in Montgomery. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineBeckADN or email her at Caroline@aldailynews.com