Colorado lawmakers are getting the jump on outrageous new EPA rules that would cost consumers thousands of dollars in their electricity bills while creating a power shortage that causes rolling blackouts.
A state Senate panel voted Thursday to require extensive public input on the willy-nilly mandate to magically cut CO2 emissions by 30 percent of 2005 levels in just 15 years.
The EPA is asking each state to submit its own plan to reach the feds’ lofty delusions, but this bill says Colorado would only do that after the state’s public utility commission reviews a blueprint, public hearings are held and the legislature signs off on it.
Sponsored by Sen. John Cooke, R-Greeley, and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, Senate Bill 258 is the beginning of what the Wall Street Journal predicts will be an outright rebellion of states against the EPA over the new rules.
This is an unprecedented federal usurpation of what has been a state responsibility since the invention of the modern steam turbine in the 1880s.
The EPA wants to embed policy changes that a Republican President couldn’t reverse and deny Governors and legislatures the time to think through the consequences. But some states are thinking, and they may tell the agency: No mas.
Under the cooperative federalism of the Clean Air Act, states are invited to draw up implementation plans for EPA approval. But they have no legal obligation to do so, because the feds cannot commandeer the states. The EPA can pursue a fallback federal plan if it doesn’t like what states do. But there is good reason for the states to band together, refuse to participate, and thus call the EPA’s bluff.
In particular, states would avoid making themselves complicit in dangerous behavior. Virtually everyone who understands the electric grid, from state utility commissions to the regional transmission operators, warns that the EPA’s ambitions threaten reliability. These apolitical organizations think brownouts or cascading blackouts are possible.
Open rebellion — we like that plan and urge state lawmakers to throw as many hurdles as possible in the EPA’s path.
Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity is urging Coloradans to write their state lawmakers using this form to support SB 258, the Colorado Electric Consumer Protection Act, and stop the Obama administration’s power grab.
Cooke and Sonnenberg authored an editorial in the Colorado Springs Gazette and cited this cost to consumers:
One independent study predicted the plan will cost the average Colorado residential ratepayers $613 per year by 2020, while commercial users – meaning businesses – will see a 52 percent increase.
In order to meet the mandates, perfectly functional power plants could be shuttered prematurely, forcing construction of costly replacements. And the concentration of regulatory power required to force statewide compliance may profoundly change the way all Colorado utilities operate, whether public, private, municipal or co-op.
That such changes could be approved without wider review and full public debate is unthinkable and, frankly, undemocratic. Average Coloradans must have a seat at the table they don’t have now. Regulation without representation is as un-American as taxation without representation.
Not surprising, envirowhacktivists are opposed to the bill and whining with a straight face that all of that public input just adds “unneeded bureaucracy.”