Rep. Joe Barton issued the following statement after the US Environmental Protection Agency announced plans to move forward with the Utility MACT rule, which is the most expensive single rule ever imposed on the utility industry.
"The EPA is the Grinch that is stealing Christmas from the American Economy.
"Unfortunately the EPA has once again chosen to put environmental activism over economic common sense. The health benefits are questionable, but the economic costs of this rule are beyond question and extremely punitive.
"Next session of Congress I will encourage Chairman Upton to hold hearings and consider legislation to remedy this rule."
The EPA estimates that the rule will cost $9.6 billion annually leading to higher utility bills for consumers. Economists also forecast it could result in the loss of 1.6 million jobs.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has warned of potential blackouts as early as this winter, and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) as early as this coming summer, as a result of the EPA rules.
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) estimates that nationwide as many as 30 million homes could be affected by this rule -- either by decreased reliability or increased rates.