NTU Supports Tennessee Bill to Push Back Against EPA Regulations

Representative Kelly Keisling
Tennessee General Assembly
301 6th Avenue North
Suite 108 War Memorial Bldg.
Nashville, TN 37243
Dear Rep. Keisling,
On behalf of the members of National Taxpayers Union, I am pleased to endorse your legislation, Tennessee House Bill 868. This bill would require legislative approval of a state emissions reduction plan before it could be submitted to the federal government pursuant to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan.
Last year the EPA, citing authority under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, announced a proposed rule to drastically cut the carbon emissions of power plants. The regulations set an overall national emissions reduction goal of 30 percent; however, individual states are tasked with achieving varying reduction targets based on the current composition of their electricity generation portfolio.  For Tennessee, this means slashing carbon dioxide emissions by a staggering 39 percent by 2030.
Meeting this target would come at a heavy price for Tennessee families. According to a study by researchers at Suffolk University, the total cost of the rule could amount to $1.3 billion. This additional financial burden would be shouldered by all Tennesseans and disproportionately hurt poorer families who spend a higher percentage of their income on utilities.
Your bill would take an important step toward ensuring that residents of the Volunteer State are not excessively harmed by the EPA’s actions. It would require that the implementation plan developed by Governor Haslam’s administration is also approved by the Tennessee General Assembly before being submitted to the EPA. This approach will not only help to build consensus among Tennessee public officials over a policy with major economic implications for the state, it will also provide a further level of accountability to those who will be most affected by that policy. 
NTU is pleased to support HB 868 and urges all legislators to work toward its swift passage.

Brandon Arnold
Executive Vice President