Democrats Vote To Continue Biden’s War On Coal

Democrats Voted To Protect A $45 Million Slush Fund In Their Legislation That Is Attempting To Circumvent This Year’s Supreme Court Ruling That The EPA Lacks Statutory Authority To Control Greenhouse Gas Emissions Through Regulations On Power Plants


All 50 Senate Democrats voted for a slush fund to continue the Biden administration’s War on Coal in an attempt to circumvent the Supreme Court’s ruling that the EPA has no authority to regulate power plant greenhouse emissions under this statute. (S. Amdt. 5382, H.R. 5376, Roll Call Vote #293: Amendment Rejected 50-50: D 0-48; R 50-0; I 0-2, 8/07/2022)

SEN. SHELLEY MOORE CAPITO (R-WV), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member: “This amendment would strike a provision that gives EPA $45 million to use eight different sections of the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. The EPA will undoubtedly try to use this money to develop rules targeting electricity generation, manufacturing, agriculture, and other sectors of the economy…. There is no doubt that EPA lawyers and environmental groups will point to this language when they try to convince courts to uphold future overreaching climate regulations. After EPA’s recent loss before the Supreme Court on the illegal Clean Power Plan, we should not be providing funds to the agency that it will inevitably use to undertake more expansive and unauthorized rulemakings. This $45 million would be used to impose billions of dollars in regulatory burdens on our economy, and increase costs at the worst time for consumers. This provision is bad for West Virginia and it is bad for America.” (Sen. Capito, Floor Remarks, 8/07/2022)


Democrats Included A $45 Million Slush Fund In Their Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree In An Attempt To Fund The EPA’s Unlawful Use Of A Section Of The Clean Air Act To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

PAGES 686-689: “SEC. 60105. FUNDING TO ADDRESS AIR POLLUTION. … (g) OTHER ACTIVITIES.—In addition to amounts otherwise available, there is appropriated to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for fiscal year 2022, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $45,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2031, to carry out, with respect to greenhouse gases, sections 111, 115, 165, 177, 202, 211, 213, and 231 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7411, 7415, 7475, 7507, 7521, 7545, 7547, and 7571).” (H.R. 5376. pp 686-689)


But The Supreme Court Ruled Explicitly Just Weeks Ago That The EPA Does Not Have The Authority Under That Statute To Issue Sweeping Regulations Of Power Plants In Order To Regulate Greenhouse Gases

CHIEF JUSTICE JOHN ROBERTS, Opinion of the Court: “But the only interpretive question before us, and the only one we answer, is more narrow: whether the ‘best system of emission reduction’ identified by EPA in the Clean Power Plan was within the authority granted to the Agency in Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. For the reasons given, the answer is no. Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day.’ New York v. United States ... But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d). A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.” (Supreme Court of the United States, West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency, 597 U.S. (2022), 6/30/2022)

‘The Court Has Undone Illegal Regulations Issued By The EPA Without Any Clear Congressional Authorization,’ ‘They Can't Proceed On The Basis Of Maybe Some Ambiguous Language, And Then Try To Rewrite The Nation's Power Grid’

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “In siding with the state of West Virginia, the Court has undone illegal regulations issued by the EPA without any clear congressional authorization and confirmed that only the people’s representatives in Congress – not unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats – may write our nation’s laws. This ruling will have a significant impact on the Commonwealth. Even as energy prices spiral out of control and experts warn of electricity blackouts, the Biden Administration has continued the Left’s war on affordable domestic energy and proposed to saddle the electric power sector with expensive regulatory requirements. Working families and businesses are bearing the costs every day…. The ruling also pushes back against the overbearing administrative state, which Democrats have expanded dramatically in recent years. The Constitution states clearly that the lawmaking process lies with the people and their elected representatives, not with opaque federal agencies.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 6/30/2022)

WEST VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL PATRICK MORRISEY: “[P]eople have to take into account that the EPA never had this authority in the first place. There were big promises made over the last decade in terms of what type of initiatives the EPA was going to advance to fight climate change. But we always knew that the EPA only had a narrow sliver of authority to regulate carbon emissions. What I would say to Americans watching tonight is that this decision is not about climate change. It's really about a very simple proposition. Who gets to make the major decisions of the day? Should it be unelected bureaucrats seizing power that has not been delegated to them? Or should it be Congress? … Agencies need to comport with the limits that Congress provides to them. And what we have seen with the Biden administration and others as well, that they have gone so far afield from that statutory authority. I think that's why the court reined them in today.” (PBS Newshour, 6/30/2022)

  • “[T]he EPA still has certain tools to move forward. But what they don't have the ability to do is, on these major questions of the day where there's vast economic or political significance, they can't proceed on the basis of maybe some ambiguous language, and then try to rewrite the nation's power grid. They can't do that. That's what they tried to do under the Clean Power Plan.” (PBS Newshour, 6/30/2022)


State Coal And Mining Associations: Democrats’ ‘Egregious’ Legislation Will ‘Severely Threaten American Coal’ And Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs While Harming Electric Reliability

“The West Virginia Coal Association and several other state-based coal industry groups on Wednesday blasted the tax and climate deal that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) agreed to last week, warning it will ‘severely threaten American coal’ and an estimated 381,000 jobs. ‘This legislation is so egregious, it leaves those of us that call Sen. Manchin a friend, shocked and disheartened,’ the groups wrote in a blistering statement that accused the West Virginia senator of zigzagging in the energy debate.” (“Coal Industry ‘Shocked And Disheartened’ By Manchin Climate Deal,” The Hill, 8/03/2022)

  • “The groups warn the deal Manchin crafted with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) after months of negotiation ‘will quickly diminish our coal producing operations and all but obviate any need to innovate coal assets.’  … ‘By turbocharging the lofty incentives that already extend to renewable energy, our nation’s baseload (reliable) coal electric generation assets will continue to be devalued and thrust into rapid decline,’ the groups warned.” (“Coal Industry ‘Shocked And Disheartened’ By Manchin Climate Deal,” The Hill, 8/03/2022)

“The statement was signed by Chris Hamilton, the president of the West Virginia Coal Association, as well as the leaders of the Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming mining associations.” (“Coal Industry ‘Shocked And Disheartened’ By Manchin Climate Deal,” The Hill, 8/03/2022)


Biden Administration Officials Have Pledged To ‘Aggressively’ Restructure And Reissue Regulations Targeting Power Plants Based On President Obama’s So-Called ‘Clean Power Plan’

“Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan says he’s willing to wield broad regulatory power to enact President Biden’s climate agenda if Congress fails to pass meaningful climate legislation. Regan says his agency will issue a robust greenhouse gas rule for power plants, a stringent methane rule for oil and gas infrastructure, and sweeping emissions standards for new cars, regardless of Congress's actions.” (“EPA Head Says He'll Act On Climate Even If Congress Doesn't,” The Washington Post’s Climate 202, 10/12/2021)

EPA ADMINISTRATOR MICHAEL REGAN: “I have been very clear since day one that … this country will move forward on climate change and combatting climate change and looking at ways to build jobs and increase our global competitiveness. And so, I will push the envelope. I will move forward as quickly as possible, as aggressively as possible, using the authorities that Congress has given us.” (Washington Post Live, 10/28/2021)

THE WASHINGTON POST’s BRADY DENNIS: “I wonder for you what you're hoping to take care of or finalize before the end of this presidential term. I mean, what are the--in your eyes, the priorities when it comes to the environment and climate change that absolutely have to get done, and what are the hurdles to that?” (Washington Post Live, 10/28/2021)

REGAN: “We really have to have a very strong methane regulation that is durable and will withstand a lot of the legal challenges. And we will revisit our carbon reduction strategy for coal plants…. And so, before the end of this term, I'd like to have durable regulations in place that can withstand the test of time and withstand litigation, and I believe we can do that.” (Washington Post Live, 10/28/2021)

The Obama Administration’s So-Called ‘Clean Power Plan’ Targeted Affordable Coal Power Before The Supreme Court Stepped In To Block Its Implementation

“When Obama’s EPA unveiled the Clean Power Plan in 2015, the landmark rule sought to reduce planet-warming emissions from coal-fired power plants 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. At the time, EPA determined that ‘generation shifting,’ or switching from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas or renewable energy, counted as a ‘best system of emission reduction’ under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. But 24 Republican-led states sued over the Clean Power Plan, arguing that it represented regulatory overreach. The Supreme Court stopped implementation of the rule before it could take effect, allowing the litigation to play out in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.” (“Wanted: EPA Carbon Rule That Can Survive In Court,” E&E News, 8/02/2021)

SEN. McCONNELL: “[S]ome [Obama administration] actions were so egregious and so likely illegal, that the courts put a halt to them before we could even reform or repeal them. As my colleagues recall, implementation of the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ was frozen by a Supreme Court stay … in 2016. The Obama Administration’s War on Coal had already done plenty of damage in places like my home state of Kentucky. But at least this additional hammer blow on so many Americans‘ livelihoods was held off. It would have weaponized a federal agency to bury energy producers and all those who depend on them under one-size-fits-all regulations with duplicative mandates and unrealistic timelines. And as production of the most affordable and reliable energy available to American families dried up, it would have left higher electricity costs in its wake. Higher domestic power prices would mean fewer American jobs here at home, with no meaningful effect on global emissions. Any rational observer would have concluded that this regulation was all pain for no gain -- just good American jobs being shipped overseas.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/19/2019)

FLASHBACK: The Obama-Biden Administration’s ‘Clean Power Plan’ Was Estimated To Cost Hundreds Of Thousands Of Jobs And Among The ‘Losers’ From The Regulatory Scheme Would Be ‘Your Power Bill’

“The heart of the U.S. commitment consists of proposed EPA power plant regulations that industry groups and congressional Republicans are already trying to undercut, both by pursuing court challenges and by urging states not to comply.” (“Obama Pledges Greenhouse Gas Emissions Cuts,” Politico, 3/31/2015)


With An Electric Grid ‘Under Stress Like Never Before,’ ‘An Aggressive [Biden] Agenda That Drives More Coal Plant Retirements’ Would Increase The Possibility Of Electricity Shortages And Blackouts

“Michelle Bloodworth, chief executive of America’s Power, a coal industry group, said that an aggressive agenda that drives more coal plant retirements would hurt the reliability of the electric grid. ‘Electric grid officials have issued warnings about the prospect of electricity shortages and blackouts in many parts of the country, and more coal retirements would only make the situation worse,’ Ms. Bloodworth said in a statement. She noted that more than 40 percent of the nation’s coal fleet has already announced plans to shut down.” (“E.P.A. Describes How It Will Regulate Power Plants After Supreme Court Setback,” The New York Times, 7/07/2022)

The Nation’s Power Grid Is Under Stress Like Never Before, With Regulators Warning That The Kind Of Rolling Outages That Are Now Familiar To California And Texas Could Be Far More Widespread’

“The nation’s power grid is under stress like never before, with regulators warning that the kind of rolling outages that are now familiar to California and Texas could be far more widespread as hot summer weather arrives. A large swath of the Midwest that has enjoyed stable electricity for decades is now wrestling with forecasts that it lacks the power needed to get through a heat wave. The regional grid is short the amount of energy needed to power 3.7 million homes. New Mexico’s attorney general is preparing for ‘worst case scenarios’ after a regional utility warned of possible blackouts. North Dakota regulators advised the state to be ready for rolling outages, Arkansas officials are preparing emergency energy conservation measures, and power companies in Arizona are already sounding alarms about next year.” (“A Summer Of Blackouts? Wheezing Power Grid Leaves States At Risk.,” The Washington Post, 6/02/2022)

  • “Southern Illinois is among the most vulnerable places in the country heading into the summer, according to a newly published forecast by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., a regulatory authority that monitors risks to the grid. The area, along with large parts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and other states linked to the regional grid, has been put on notice in the forecast that it is facing a ‘high risk of energy emergencies during peak summer conditions.’” (“A Summer Of Blackouts? Wheezing Power Grid Leaves States At Risk.,” The Washington Post, 6/02/2022)
  • “Some political leaders and utilities in the Midwest are assuring residents that their connections to neighboring grids can provide a backup of energy to avoid blackouts if the Midcontinent system gets overstressed. But energy experts warn those power transfers may not be available in the event of a prolonged heat wave that stretches across many states, as California learned when part of its grid became overwhelmed in the summer of 2020. ‘They were counting on transfers,’ Robb said. ‘But it was hot in Seattle, in Vancouver, in Portland. It was hot everywhere. Nobody had extra power to give.’ California has already put its residents on notice that a similar scenario could play out again this summer. State forecasts show that during peak summer periods, California will be short about the amount of electricity it takes to power 1.3 million homes.” (“A Summer Of Blackouts? Wheezing Power Grid Leaves States At Risk.,” The Washington Post, 6/02/2022)

‘A Major Reason Is That Some Of The Coal Plants That Regulators Assumed Would Keep Running For Another Year Or Two Are Instead Coming Offline. Some Plant Operators Are Choosing To Shut Down Rather Than Invest In Upgrades For Coal Plants That Do Not Fit With States’ And The Federal Government’s Long-Term Goals For Clean Energy’

A major reason is that some of the coal plants that regulators assumed would keep running for another year or two are instead coming offline. Some plant operators are choosing to shut down rather than invest in upgrades for coal plants that do not fit with states’ and the federal government’s long-term goals for clean energy. ‘We are seeing these retirements occur at a faster pace than expected,’ said Jim Robb, chief executive of the regulatory authority. ‘The economics aren’t great, so coal plant operators are saying ‘uncle.’’” (“A Summer Of Blackouts? Wheezing Power Grid Leaves States At Risk.,” The Washington Post, 6/02/2022)

“Texas, the West and Midwest are bracing for potentially dangerous and costly blackouts this summer due to extreme weather and volatile gas prices … In the Midwest, early coal plant retirements and a lack of replacement power threaten to create a precarious gap between supply and demand as temperatures rise going into June. And aging coal and gas-fired plants across the West risk being forced to reduce their output or shut down entirely as extreme heat and drought conditions threaten their access to water and disrupt required maintenance. Meanwhile, natural gas prices are expected to skyrocket. Coupled with high demand for power as temperatures spike, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission predicts electricity prices could rise by as much as 233 percent over last summer’s power prices.” (“Spiking Temperatures Could Cause More Blackouts This Summer. They Won't Be The Last.,” Politico, 5/31/2022)

“Residents of Massachusetts and other New England states have long endured some of the highest electricity rates in the country. Then in January, rates jumped again. And government forecasters say summer temperatures in the Northeast will be far above normal. Natural gas sells for about two to three times as much as it did two or three years ago, when a glut sent prices tumbling. New England faces an additional challenge: It does not have enough pipeline capacity to import the fuel from producers like Texas or Pennsylvania.” (“Get Ready for Another Energy Price Spike: High Electric Bills,” The New York Times, 5/03/2022)


Energy Prices Have Already Seen The Largest Annual Increase In 40 Years

Energy prices increased 41.6% year-on-year in June, the largest increase since 1980. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/13/2022)

Electricity prices increased 13.7% year-on-year in June, the largest increase since 2006. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/13/2022)

Natural gas (Utility (piped) gas service) increased 38.4% year-on-year in June, the largest increase since 2005. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/13/2022)

Gasoline prices have increased 59.9% year-on-year in June, the largest since 1980. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 7/13/2022)



Related Issues: Democrats' Reckless Taxing And Spending Spree, Inflation, EPA, Senate Democrats, Energy