Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) and Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced a bill to block President Obama from going around Congress to implement his national energy tax. The "National Energy Tax Repeal Act" would prohibit the issuance of new carbon pollution standards through a Presidential Memorandum for existing coal fired power plants.
"The American people have repeatedly told Washington to focus on jobs -- and not to roll out red tape that increases energy bills and decreases economic opportunities," said Barrasso. "Immediately after the President unveiled his national energy tax plan, I said that all Members of Congress need to make it clear where they stand on his out of touch proposal. My bill requires the Obama Administration to have explicit Congressional approval before moving forward with excessive regulations that will kill jobs, close coal plants, and make energy costs skyrocket. Over the next few months, I am going to repeatedly push for a vote on this bill because we must send a strong signal against this job crushing plan."
"This is just another example of President Obama using the EPA as a weapon against our energy industry," said Enzi. "Instead of trying to sidestep Congress, the President should lay out the details of his energy agenda so the American people can see how much their energy bills would go up. This attack on the energy industry, hurts consumers, jobs, and Wyoming."
"Allowing the Obama administration to impose cumbersome regulations -- through yet another end run around Congress -- would only drive up the cost of energy and discourage job growth, at a time when unemployment is still 7.6 percent," said Alexander. "The best way to produce clean energy is to rely on our free enterprise system, which means ending Washington's obsession with wasteful taxpayer subsidies and doubling energy research to encourage private-sector innovation."
"America needs Washington to stop standing in the way of a responsible job-creating energy agenda," said Rubio. "President Obama's job-destroying environmental agenda continues to impose more mandates and energy regulations on the American people at a time when they can least afford it. Rather than kill jobs in an energy sector that employs many hard-working middle class Americans, President Obama and Congressional Democrats should support responsible pro-growth energy policies that will actually create thousands of new jobs. In addition to finally approving the Keystone XL pipeline, we need an energy agenda that embraces American innovation in areas like new exploration techniques and mandate-free energy efficiency technologies."
On June 25th, President Obama announced that he was issuing a Presidential Memorandum to direct the EPA to issue carbon pollution standard regulations. The "National Energy Tax Repeal Act" very simply says that the authority to direct such regulations resides with Congress and cannot be issued by EPA unless Congress first authorizes it.
Why this bill is needed:
Restores Congressional authority- President Obama's memorandum circumvents the legislative process and the will of the American people who have rejected his cap and trade policies in the past.
Blocks a new national energy tax- Once issued, EPA's regulations will increase energy costs for seniors, small businesses, low-income households and families.
Protects jobs- High energy costs will lead to joblessness for thousands of Americans in states like Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Montana in an economy that is already struggling.
Protects public health- Congressional testimony and the latest studies show that joblessness increases the likelihood of hospital visits, illnesses, and premature deaths.
Makes Congressional intent clear- The bill makes clear that Congress should act on an affordable clean energy plan, and on protecting communities from severe weather.