Congressman Jason Smith Capitol Report: Energy Regulations Impact the Heartland
Last Friday, while we were all deep in Thanksgiving leftovers, thinking no one was watching, President Obama unveiled a new deluge of regulations that will hit rural America hard. Of the more than 20,000 proposed new regulations, 144 are expected to cost the economy $100 million each.
This comes at the same time Barack Obama is at the U.N. climate conference in Paris signing America up for global regulations on energy production. In another effort to sidestep Congress, they have declared that any deal agreed to in Paris will not be considered an international treaty subject to congressional approval, but instead a binding agreement. That is why this week I helped offer a resolution in the U.S. House requiring that any agreement made by the president in Paris seek the advice, approval and consent of Congress.
It’s clear that the policies President Obama has been pushing will make energy more costly for rural America. The EPA has plans to unleash new and unvetted air quality standards that could likely put all 30 counties in our Eighth Congressional District out of compliance. These new standards written by bureaucrats in Washington would even classify the Mark Twain National Forest as uncompliant due to carbon released by the trees. Implementing the changes would cost Missouri alone $1.9 billion. One of the rules the president is pushing forward which will have serious implications for Missouri is his so-called “Clean Power Plan” rule. Our state gets more than 83 percent of its energy from coal power and this plan will drastically increase the price of energy for rural families and businesses. This is why on Tuesday we passed two resolutions in the House with my support which would prevent implementation of the president’s ill-conceived power rules.
In addition to the new power rules, the Obama EPA is also trying to go around Congress to regulate everyday occurrences like farm dust, smoke from barbeque grills and even put new regulations on wood burning stoves. In our area, about 30,000 households use wood heat to warm their homes. Trying to limit how often Americans can use heat provided by a wood stove will have a drastic impact on rural America. That is why on Thursday the U.S. House passed my amendment to eliminate this expensive new regulation and help keep energy affordable and available to folks that need it.
It has become all too common for this president to try and subvert Congress and the Constitution by passing his agenda through presidential fiat. Whether it’s trying to push through new energy standards which have already been rejected by Congress or trying to regulate every river, stream, lake and pond on a farm there is no end to this president’s efforts to circumvent the other branches of government. Passing my amendment Thursday is a good step, but we must continue to fight back against the president’s disastrous plans because Missouri and all of rural America depends on it.