ICYMI: Why States Should Not Submit a State Plan

Today, AEA President Thomas Pyle penned an op-ed in Morning Consult cautioning state leaders against submitting a state plan for EPA’s carbon regulation. EPA, environmental groups, and utilities are pressuring state leaders to submit state plans by implying that a federal plan will be much worse for their citizens. But as Pyle points out, state and federal plans are essentially the same. The only major difference is that a state plan locks citizens in to this costly regulation—even if the rule is thrown out in court—while a federal plan does not.

Below is an excerpt from the op-ed:

Recently, Alabama announced it would delay steps to develop a state plan under President Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” until the D.C. Circuit Court either approves or denies a stay. While some warn that such an approach could risk the imposition of a federal plan, Alabama’s caution is prudent. Rushing to develop a state plan before the courts weigh in risks higher electricity rates and diminished living standards for American families.

Moreover, a state plan would not be better than a federal one. Since a state plan could place a state on an irreversible path toward compliance, states should wait for legal resolution before making any binding commitments.

Shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the final carbon rule in the Federal Register, 27 states sued the agency. Although the rule’s legal status remains questionable, a number of voices, including EPAenvironmental organizations, and utilities, are clamoring for states to submit implementation plans by the September 2016 initial filing deadline.

In contrast to Alabama’s cautious approach, Michigan—led by Governor Rick Snyder—is rushing ahead and already crafting a state plan for later this year. The governor explained that he wanted “to make Michigan’s energy decisions in Lansing” and not leave those choices to federal bureaucrats. However, Gov. Snyder is mistaken: Submitting a state plan will actually ensure federal control over a state’s energy policy.

Click here to read the original op-ed.

Click here to view AEA’s infographic comparing state vs. federal plans.

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