By July 25, 2015 Read More →

Clean Power Plan: Texas think tank launches challenge with Interstate Power Compact

Will EPA’s Clean Power Plan be mired in legal wrangling if Interstate Power Compact is successful?

A Texas think tank has launched an interesting end run around the Environmental Protection Agency that could hobble the Obama Administration’s key climate change strategy, the Clean Power Plan.

clean power plan

Coal-fired power plants emit twice the CO2 of natural gas-fired power plants.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Fueling Freedom Project announced this week the launch of the Interstate Power Compact, an agreement between participating states to prevent the federal overreach of the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan was launched in a year ago and is intended to reduce “carbon pollution” from American power plants by 30 per cent over 2005 levels by 2030. The US Energy Information Administration estimates the Clean Power Plan will shutter dozens of coal-fired power plants over the next 25 years and accelerate the transition to cleaner fuels, mostly natural gas, solar, and wind.

The Foundation says that the Clean Power Plan rule, already the subject of litigation, is widely opposed by many state environmental agencies, governors, and attorneys general. It claims experts predict that the carbon rule will significantly increase the cost of electricity hurting consumers—especially low-income families—businesses, and communities.

The Interstate Power Compact is a powerful tool to protect Texas and all states from the EPA’s unconstitutional and overreaching proposed federal carbon rule, so-called the Clean Power Plan, says Doug Domenech, director of the Foundation’s Fueling Freedom Project.

clean power plan

Doug Domenech, director of the Foundation’s Fueling Freedom Project.

“The Interstate Power Compact will allow states to join together to prevent the EPA from taking over our currently affordable and reliable electricity production capacity, and replace it with plan managed by bureaucrats in Washington, DC,” Domenech said in a press release.

The interstate compact is a powerful Constitutional device that permits states to maintain their sovereignty by allowing them to act collectively outside the confines of federal legislation or regulation,” said Domenech.

“When used effectively, compacts provide regional or national policy solutions without interference from the federal government. This compact also let states develop a dynamic, self-regulatory system that remains flexible enough to address changing needs.”

Interstate compacts create a new governmental agency to administer shared resources or they can be used to better coordinate existing state agencies. Authority for compacts was established in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, and more than 200 such agreements – such as the Red River Compact Commission that includes Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas – are in force today.

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