by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states challenging the Obama administration’s proposed rules for existing power plants underscores how polarizing the debate has become. …
… The lawsuit is unusual, since they are not usually filed until after a rule is finalized. The rule isn’t expected to be finished until the summer.
On one side of the debate is, of course, the supporters, which include President Obama and environmentalists, primarily. They are focused on the regulations to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which scientists say is causing the Earth’s climate to warm.
But the other side is opposed, or at least “concerned” that the rules, once implemented, could wreak havoc in electricity markets, force consumers to pay more for electricity, prompt coal plants to close, and place the states at the mercy of the federal government on what they can and cannot use to produce electricity.
Those concerns have trade associations, K Street lawyers and lawmakers scrambling to get ahead of the rules, with many in the GOP majority opposing the rules as an affront to federalism and an illegal “power grab” by EPA.