power120514Lawmakers are working to walk back President Barack Obama’s overreaching climate rules for power plants by arguing in court that the Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to undermine congressional authority.
In an amicus brief filed Tuesday, more than 200 lawmakers expressed serious concern that the Obama administration is essentially attempting to allow the EPA to wield the power of a fourth branch of government.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) are leading the fight against Obama’s out of control EPA.
“This case involves a new regulation where the agency fails to ‘conform’ to clear congressional instructions and is seeking to usurp the role of Congress to establish climate and energy policy for the nation,” wrote the lawmakers.
The lawmakers also noted that Congress “has not authorized EPA to make the central policy choices in the final rule and, in many respects, has affirmatively rejected those policies, as it certainly did with respect to cap-and-trade programs for [carbon dioxide] emissions from power plants.”
The brief supports a bevy of lawsuits filed by states and utilities facing serious economic damage if Obama’s EPA is able to keep the rules in place.
Those litigants called the EPA’s Clean Power Plan a “breathtaking expansion” of federal power in court documents filed last week.
“The rule’s restructuring of nearly every state’s electric grid would exceed even the authority that Congress gave to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the federal agency responsible for electricity regulation,” they said.
“EPA’s newly-discovered authority threatens to enable the agency to mandate that any existing source’s owners in any industry reduce their source’s production, shutter the existing source entirely, and even subsidize their non-regulated competitors.”
The new EPA rules, which were finalized last year, are a key pillar of the outgoing Obama administration’s heightened effort to build a legacy around environmental activism.
But for now, the power plant rules are on hold thanks to a stay issued by the Supreme Court earlier this month. A battle in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is brewing with oral arguments over the rules set to begin in June.