The nation’s state legislatures are about to become embroiled in a battle of epic proportions as they line up on either side of the debate over the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
The struggle could define the future of, and indeed the very existence of, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), 49 members of the Wisconsin Legislature and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin are part of a nationwide, state legislative backlash against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.
EPA officials proposed the plan in June 2014. It is designed to reduce carbon greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.
The EPA believes by 2030 this rule would cut CO2 emissions from the nation’s power plants by approximately 30 percent from emission levels in 2005.
“This goal is achievable because innovations in the production, distribution and use of electricity are already making the power sector more efficient and sustainable while maintaining an affordable, reliable and diverse energy mix,” according to an EPA press release.
Walker and the others on his side of the issue see the EPA plan, which strictly regulates emissions generated by the nation’s power plans, as typical of the agency’s overreach.
Another group of 14 states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Minnesota, New York, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — mobilized by the Georgetown Climate Center are on the other side of the debate, arguing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan will give them “the flexibility to build on proven policies to cost-effectively achieve meaningful carbon pollution reductions.”