Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Today, President Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan” goes before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. The lawsuit, brought by 26 states, including Arkansas, argues that the mandate is unconstitutional and should be abandoned.

It should be noted that the Supreme Court has already issued a stay requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt implementation of the plan until the legal questions surrounding it have been settled. This case is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court no matter how the D.C. Circuit Appeals Court rules, but the arguments this court will hear and the decision it renders will be critical to what an appeal to the Supreme Court would look like.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge rightly joined in this suit against the Obama administration and the state has halted efforts to comply with the regulations since the Supreme Court issued its stay in February.

I am pleased Arkansas joined the lawsuit because the EPA does not have the authority under the Clean Air Act to enforce the sweeping regulations proposed under the plan.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has yet to explain why the federal government is seeking to impose such harsh limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants when the EPA admits that there would not be a significant impact on the environment in our country and the rule threatens to cost our economy untold jobs, would likely force many factories and plants to close altogether and result in increasing costs for consumers.

In testimony before Congress, McCarthy admitted that this action was almost entirely political when she said, “We see it as having had enormous benefit in showing sort of domestic leadership as well as garnering support around the country for the agreement we reached in Paris.”

My colleagues and I do not think a political gesture is worth the damage that the Clean Power Plan will inflict on our economy and the workers who are employed by industries that the regulations threaten to cripple. We are hopeful that the D.C. Circuit Court will strike down this rule altogether so that our states and the energy industry can continue to institute energy policies that balance environmental concerns while pursuing robust energy solutions that strengthen our economy.