Ohio Rejects EPA’s Clean Power Plan

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter
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The Ohio House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday effectively nullifying the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan in the state.

The legislation, called House Resolution 29, passed 71 to 22. It would effectively nullify the Clean Power Plan in Ohio by prohibiting state enforcement or cooperation with the EPA formally opposing the plan.

If Resolution 29 passes Ohio’s Senate and is signed into law, it could make the plan virtually impossible to implement in the state, as the EPA is heavily reliant on state agencies to enforce its environmental regulations. The Clean Power Plan’s implementation was previously suspended by U.S. Supreme Court in February for a year and a half.

“Today’s bipartisan support of HCR 29, a measure to oppose the U.S. EPA’s ‘Clean Power Plan’, further justifies the calls of Governor Kasich and Attorney General DeWine for the agency to vacate this economically devastating rule,” Christian Palich, President of the Ohio Coal Association, said in a press statement.

West Virginia signed similar legislation into law in March, while both houses of Virginia’s legislature also passed a similar measure — only for the state’s Democratic governor to veto it.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan would eliminate most cheap coal and natural gas power with expensive sources like solar and wind, costing America an expected $41 billion annually. Yet, the plan likely won’t have a large impact on global warming. Using models created by the EPA, the Clean Power Plan will only advert 0.019° Celsius of warming by the year 2100, an amount so small it can’t be detected, according to analysis by the libertarian Cato Institute.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted last month when questioned by Republican Sen. [crscore]Steve Daines[/crscore] of Montana that her agency can’t measure the impact of its proposed Clean Power Plan on global temperatures, because it would likely be incredibly small. McCarthy specifically stated that the plan’s influence on the environment cannot be quantified, but claims that the plan’s cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would theoretically encourage other countries to also reduce emissions.

The EPA actually omitted the amount of warming the Clean Power Plan will prevent from regulatory impact analysis. EPA admits it assesses the plan’s benefits “qualitatively because we do not have sufficient confidence in available data or methods.”

Republicans in both state legislative chambers have a long history of being hostile to green energy. Late last year they attempted to gut an Ohio law mandating the state get 25 percent of its power from green energy by 2025, despite reported veto threats and hostile rhetoric from Republican Gov. John Kasich. The governor has long been at odds with his own party over the state’s energy future. Ohio’s green energy mandate is responsible for 29,366 lost jobs and caused a $3,842 reduction in average household income, according to a study by Utah State University.

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