House Speaker John Boehner had a blunt reaction to the Obama administration’snew EPA regulationsannounced Monday, calling the plan “nuts.”
“The president’s plan is nuts. There’s really no more succinct way to describe it,” Boehner said in a statement shortly after the new rule was released.
In his statement, Boehner framed the plan in terms Republicans will likely repeat over and over again heading into the 2014 midterm elections. He called it a “national energy tax.”
“In many ways, this national energy tax is actually worse than the scheme Americans rejected four years ago,” Boehner said of Obama’s cap-and-trade proposal that didn’t muster its way through Congress. “The House has already passed legislation to prevent these rules from taking effect without the approval of the people’s representatives. The question now is: will Senate Democrats listen to the American people and stop this disaster or will they back the president all the way?”
The new regulations aim to force power plants to cut their emissions by as much 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA estimates the rule will cost approximately $US5.5 billion in 2020 while bringing net climate and health “benefits” of $US26 billion to $US45 billion to the economy.
The rule has already come under fire from Republicans and even Democrats in tight, red-state Senate races. Opponents argue it will hinder economic growth by forcing coal- and gas-powered plants to reduce their emissions. They also criticised Obama’s unilateral action without congressional approval.
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