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Johanns Votes to Prevent Electricity Rate Increases

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Location: Washington, DC

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today supported a Senate resolution disapproving of a costly new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation known as the Utility Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT) Rule. The resolution of disapproval, introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), failed 46-53.

"EPA continues to barrage the American people with costly regulations and unreasonable expectations for compliance," Johanns said. "We all want clean air, but we must set reasonable goals and ensure these rules will not cripple our economy. This rule will cost our citizens billions of dollars at a time when many families and job creators are struggling to make ends meet.

"This rule is particularly troubling in Nebraska -- where one utility company alone estimates it will cost up to $1.3 billion over the next three years to comply. As a 100 percent public power state, that cost would be directly handed down to the consumer in the form of skyrocketing electricity rates. I encourage the President to abandon this crushing regulation."

Utility MACT, which was proposed by the Obama Administration last year and finalized in December 2011, requires power plants to install costly controls to reduce certain emissions by 2015. The resolution would not have stripped EPA of its power to regulate these emissions. If passed, EPA would have been barred from adopting a similar rule, but it could still craft a more reasonable rule that regulated the same targeted emissions.


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