New ‘Affordable Clean Energy’ Rule Would Restore States’ Regulatory Powers for Carbon Emissions

U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today asserted that President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to restore the rights of states to regulate carbon emissions should protect Mississippians from threatened power plant closings and rate hikes under Obama-era regulations.

Hyde-Smith praised President Trump’s ACE directive for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace President Obama’s Clean Power Plan—a punitive top-down federal mandate intended to eliminate coal-powered power plants.  The ACE Rule was unveiled Tuesday.

“President Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy is a strong step away from the Obama administration’s heavy-handed attitude that Washington knows best,” Hyde-Smith said.  “The proposed rule would give our state’s leaders flexibility to determine the best way to meet Clean Air Act requirements without forcing plant closures or sticking Mississippi families with higher electric bills.”

“I commend President Trump and Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for working to reestablish cooperation between states and the federal government to attain American energy security and to meet our environmental goals,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and its subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the EPA.

In addition to giving states greater flexibility, the ACE rule would replace costly regulatory requirements which would increase electricity prices and cost jobs.

The onerous nature of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan prompted the entire Mississippi congressional delegation in 2015 to criticize the plan as being prohibitively expensive and unattainable for Mississippi.  The delegation also complained that the Obama plan dismissed the state’s strategic investments in energy diversification and air quality technologies.

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality in 2015 filed a motion to stay the Clean Power Plan, which was the first-ever federal carbon-pollution restriction for existing and new power plants.  The plan has been suspended since 2016 when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic stay on its implementation.

The proposed ACE rule will now undergo a public comment period before being finalized.  Additional information on the President’s plan is available here:

Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith