The Environmental Protection Agency’s recent proposal to impose new regulations on existing power plants would have far-reaching negative effects on rural America. That’s the opinion of South Dakota Senator John Thune, who says it would impact his state and all the others too.
“It will destroy jobs and increase the cost of energy across the country. This regulation not only hurts South Dakota families but also industries that we rely on, agriculture and manufacturing, which are energy intensive and are particularly susceptible to higher energy costs. They’re going to be without a doubt dramatically impacted by this new rule. The EPA projects that natural gas prices would increase by over 11 percent on account of this new regulation and resulting in higher costs for fertilizer and manufacturing.”
Thune is among legislators co-sponsoring legislation to block the proposal, but can that effort be successful? He’s not sure.
“There are a number of us in the Senate who recognize the devastating impact that this is going to have on our economy. We all agree that clean air is vitally important, but this proposal will destroy jobs, threaten the reliability of the grid and essentially do nothing to reduce global carbon dioxide concentrations. As I remind people this at some point does become a function of math. You either have the votes or you don’t. Even though we’re going to try to get a vote on this piece of legislation that would block the EPA’s proposal, if we don’t get the votes in the Senate to get it done, we aren’t going to be able to stop this.”
Under the proposed rule the national average by state that power plants must reduce carbon dioxide emission rates by 2030 is 30 percent. A number of legislators have asked the Administration to withdraw the greenhouse gas emissions proposal.