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Senate Committee Passes Bill Blocking Climate Rule

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Earlier this month, Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) held a markup hearing on legislation blocking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The legislation titled the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) is sponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and would completely halt the rule from going into effect and also further limit the EPA’s authority to rewrite the rule. The measure passed by a voice vote after a failed attempt at the initial committee meeting earlier that day. Nine Democrats walked out of the markup hearing, preventing Republicans from a quorum to be able to vote on the bill. In a final effort to clear the measure, Chairman Inhofe scheduled a last minute meeting in a conference room across from the Senate floor later that day in order to vote on the measure again before the August recess.

The House has already passed similar legislation (HR 2042) which would delay the EPA’s rule and provide states the option to opt out of the rule if they determine its implementation would increase electric utility prices or disrupt power reliability. The Obama Administration released the final rule on August 3 and it will go into effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. The rule targets power plants and would reduce carbon emissions by 32 percent by the year 2030. States must implement their own plans to reduce carbon emissions or else the EPA will step in and enforce the rule.
For more information, contact Jill Landry at

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