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As we close in on the vote on Senator Inhofe’s CRA legislation, S.J Res. 37, which will determine the future of coal in America, a sudden, last minute alternative has been proposed by Senator Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Senator Pryor (D-Ark.). Rather than address EPA overreach, proposed legislation merely extends the compliance timeline.
Despite the Utility MACT’s devastating impact on energy prices and the costs it imposes on Americans, those Senator Alexander is paving the way for President Obama and his unchecked, ramped-up EPA to impose massive new restrictions on energy production. Senators’ Alexander and Pryor bill is highly unlikely to come to a vote, let alone pass, but this legislative maneuver provides an out for those wanting to look concerned about the EPA yet wary of voting for Senator Inhofe’s resolution of disapproval. The proposed bill from Alexander and Pryor does nothing to change the problems (increased energy costs, decreased reliability of the electricity grid, and job loss) with the Utility MACT, but only increases compliance times for companies. Companies have stated compliance time isn’t the issue. The issues with Utility MACT are the outrageous and unattainable emission standards that will be placed on the industry and the substantial costs of compliance.
Senator Alexander is on the record as saying, “I’m not going to vote against the Utility MACT,” a surprising statement to come from a senator whose state has coal-fired plants and receives 53 percent of its energy from coal. This would not be the first time that Senator Alexander would be on the record as going against Republicans on energy issues. In November, he did not support a similar resolution to stop another EPA regulation on air pollution. So far, we believe we have 41 Senators who will support the S.J. Res. 37, including Democrats Manchin, Nelson, and Landrieu. The No’s are tied, with 41 Democrats and most likely Republican Alexander. There are still a few undecided Senators who we may still be able encourage voting yes on Senator Inhofe’s resolution with your support:
Collins- leaning No
Snowe- leaning No
Tester- leaning No
Baucas- No, but could possibly go Yes
McCaskill- leaning No, but could go Yes
Warner- probably No
Casey- leaning No, but should be Yes
Stabenow- No, could be Yes with a push in the polls
Conrad- probably No
Pleasecall them and voice your support for S.J Res. 37. For more details, please see these talking points on what the Utility MACT will mean for Americans. This is our only chance to show President Obama and the EPA that we are tired of their mandates and regulations, which will cost American billions with little benefits.