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Cramer Criticizes President Obama's Climate Regulation Plan

Jun 25, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer strongly criticized President Obama’s plans to restrict emissions from power plants as part of a larger climate regulation scheme. In a speech at Georgetown University today, Obama outlined a list of new energy regulations, which calls for an unprecedented cap on carbon emissions from all power plants generating electricity from fossil fuels, including those already in existence. A previous attempt to limit such emissions only for future power plants has been delayed by the EPA.

"President Obama is making good on his 2008 promise to bankrupt anyone who wants to build a new coal plant, but now he wants to bankrupt everyone who ever built one. This announcement compounds the vast regulatory nightmare already confronting domestic energy development, and removes any doubt the President is determined to dismantle an industry providing jobs and energy for our nation. All seven power plants generating electricity from coal in North Dakota are in peril under this measure. I will not stand by while President Obama further destroys the American economy to appease his Hollywood environmentalist supporters, and will use every avenue available in Congress to stop these disastrous regulations from being implemented,” Cramer said.

In March 2012, the EPA proposed a rule to limit emissions from new fossil fuel-fired power plants to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour (lbs CO2/MWh). The rule was subsequently delayed in April 2013, and has not yet moved beyond draft status. In his 21-page plan released today, Obama calls for a Presidential Memorandum ordering the EPA to move forward on this rule while expanding its scope to include all existing plants.

Emissions data from all seven coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Dakota indicate the new regulations, if implemented, could require them to pay drastic fines to the federal government, putting their operations at significant risk. Antelope Valley, Coal Creek, Coyote, Leland Olds, Milton R. Young, R.M. Heskett, and Stanton stations each produced between 2,033 and 3,020 lbs CO2 per MWh from 2007 to 2012.

The Obama plan relies entirely on executive power without any approval from Congress to restrict carbon emissions, methane emissions, and create new efficiency mandates for household appliances.

“The costs of these regulations will be passed onto working Americans in the form of higher costs for electricity, gasoline, and everything we produce, grow, and manufacture. North Dakotans currently enjoy the lowest price for retail electricity of any state thanks to an 835-year supply of coal, but this is exactly the type of regulation which will cause devastating cost hikes overnight. As if money grows on trees, this Administration continues to pursue a radical climate agenda at the expense of its citizens,” Cramer added.

The lignite coal industry alone directly employs 4,097 people in North Dakota, and generates $3.5 billion in annual business activity. 13,347 indirect employees supply the industry with goods and services, for a total employment of 17,444.

Cramer is a cosponsor of the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act, which blocks the EPA from using its funding to implement or enforce any new regulation of greenhouse gases on power plants.