Rep. Smith Joins President to Lower Electric Bills, Save Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, major components of the Clean Power Plan, a high-cost regulation U.S. Rep. Smith asked the Trump Administration to take quick action on, were suspended and rescinded. In December of 2016, Rep. Smith met with and sent a letter to the incoming administration asking them to eliminate 14 federal rules and regulations, one of which was the Clean Power Plan. Smith’s work with the Administration will save jobs and money for farmers, small businesses and families.
Missouri residents get 83% of their energy from coal-fired power plants. If implemented, this rule would have increased the cost of electricity and made it unaffordable for many residents in the state. Rescinding the Clean Power Plan stops the Obama Administration’s costly rules for energy production, lowers the price of electricity, and keeps coal plants and jobs in Missouri.
“The so called ‘Clean Power Plan’ is just the latest in a long list of regulations that show how unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats do not understand southeast and south central Missouri,” said Congressman Smith. “After President Trump was elected, his team asked me to help identify regulations hurting rural America, and I immediately thought of the folks back home who told me that their utility bills were going to triple in cost after the Obama Administration and the EPA rolled out this ridiculous rule.”
Barry Hart, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives CEO, says the Obama Administrations did not listen to more than 300,000 letters from rural Missourians when making the final Clean Power Plan rules.
“The Clean Power Plan would have significantly increased electric rates, potentially closed many coal plants in Missouri and killed our state's economy,” said Hart. “Billions of dollars have been spent to make our coal plants some of the cleanest in the world. The hundreds of permanent jobs at these plants are high paying and additional workers from across the country come to Missouri each year to maintain the facilities and equipment. They spend millions of dollars locally while working here. All of this economic activity creates tax dollars for our communities and counties. Low energy costs also make Missouri a good place for businesses to expand and locate, creating more jobs.”
“People in rural Missouri are celebrating today,” said Hart. “From the initial proposal of the Clean Power Plan by the Obama Administration to President Trump’s repeal of the rule, our Congressman Jason Smith has worked side by side with us to give Missourians a voice in Washington. The previous administration did not listen to rural Missourians and cooperative members. But the good news is, we have a new administration and everyone’s hard work, including Jason’s, is going to pay off.”
Studies estimate that every American household is stuck with $15,000 in regulatory costs each year. The Clean Power Plan would have contributed to this burden by increasing the cost to heat and cool homes, making consumers pay more to receive the same service. There are 27 states who have challenged Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court. These ongoing legal cases question the Executive Authority leveraged by the Obama Administration to implement the Clean Power Plan and Waters of the U.S. rules. In one case, Congressman Smith filed an amicus brief with the D.C. Court of Appeals to block the Obama Administration’s executive overreach and implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
“Congress and the American people rejected Obama’s climate change agenda, so instead, the Obama Administration went around Congress, ignoring the will of the people. Now we are undoing the rules they wrote,” said Congressman Smith. “From ending the damaging Clean Power Plan, to stopping the EPA from regulating every stream, lake or body of water on a farm, I am grateful that we finally have a President who is as focused as I am on getting Washington off the backs and out of the way of Missouri families, farmers and small businesses.”
Smith has been fighting against regulations since his time in the Missouri State House of Representatives. Most recently, Congressman Smith authored the SCRUB Act. Passed in a 240-185 bipartisan vote by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, the SCRUB Act is designed to identify ineffective and intrusive federal regulations. The legislation creates a commission that reviews and makes recommendations to repeal regulations to bring back private sector job creation and spur economic growth. Congressman Smith encourages the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the SCRUB Act and send it to the White House for President Trump’s signature.