Where Does the GOP Field Stand on Obama’s Carbon Regulations?

This Wednesday, fourteen of the Republican candidates will face off in a third presidential debate hosted by CNBC in Boulder, Colorado. During the debate, CNBC plans to ask questions about key issues like taxes, job growth, and the overall health of our national economy.

While all these issues warrant discussion, let us not forget about one of the largest threats facing our economic future: President Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”

Every way you look at it, Obama’s new carbon regulations are a looming disaster for our economy, especially the poor and middle class. To start, they’re some of the costliest regulations in U.S. history. With a total price tag of $366 billion (for the proposed rule), and an annual cost of $41 billion, these regulations are among the costliest in U.S. history.

These increased costs will leave few unscathed. Hardworking families and businesses across the United States suffer because the price of energy affects the cost of everything else.

Who will suffer the most under Obama’s Climate Rule?

Low-income and minority families will be the hardest hit. A recent study from the National Black Chamber of Commerce estimates that the regulations will increase poverty for African-American households by 23 percent and Hispanic households by 26 percent. The potential jobs lost are unacceptable: energy policies that could cost 7 million jobs for African Americans and 12 million for Hispanics simply aren’t fair.

For all this economic pain, you’d think there was some method to the madness, but there isn’t. The EPA’s own climate models show the climate benefit of the regulations is practically nonexistent—a 0.018 degrees slowing in global temperature rise by 2100.

So how should candidates respond if they’re asked about these devastating regulations? Ideally, they would join leaders like Senator McConnell in his call for states to stand together and agree not to implement Obama’s carbon regulations.

In short, Americans deserve to hear each candidate say something like this:

“As a candidate, I urge states to stand together and protect their citizens from Obama’s devastating carbon regulations. States have a right to not implement these regulations until courts decide the issue and they should exercise that right. 

As President, I would do everything in my power to undo these regulations and prevent the harm they would cause. We all want a clean environment and a healthy planet for future generations. But the fact is that these regulations go about it in the wrong way. Not only would they cost hundreds of billions of dollars, but they would bring great harm to the hardworking families that need the most help. And for what? Even the EPA’s own model shows that they won’t make a real difference in global temperature.

That’s not smart energy policy. That’s asking Americans to endure a lot of pain for basically no gain. Americans deserve better than that.”

The simple fact is that the American people oppose Obama’s radical climate agenda. After being told that the carbon regulations would result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, a majority of voters in key battleground states opposed the regulation, according to a July survey released by AEA. Moreover, a survey conducted by MWR Strategies on behalf of AEA finds that 60 percent of likely voters believe that it is “mostly a bad thing” to “require States to impose mandates on their citizens to buy certain amounts of renewable energy, whether or not it is cost-effective,” as Obama’s carbon regulations would. We hope the candidates listen to the American people and recognize that affordable, abundant, and dependable energy is key to a vibrant economy.

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