WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Power Plan” will greatly impact businesses, rural communities and families nationwide, according to Paul Cicio, president of Industrial Energy Consumers of America.

“We know, including the EPA knows, there’s costs. The EPA does not want to hurt people by higher energy costs, but this rule will,” said Cicio, during a Tuesday hearing chaired by U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), in a continued effort to rollback the plan.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

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U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

All costs of action by the United States, through the plan, will be passed on to them: “the consumer,” according to Cicio.

He said the plan will dramatically increase the cost of power and natural gas, accomplish little to reduce the threat of global climate change and provide off-shore competitors an economic advantage, potentially creating industrial green house gas emission leakage.

Cicio said this will create harmful effects to the middle class, the economy and the environment.

“If we want to be serious about reducing global green house gas emissions, the single most important thing we need to do is increase the manufacturing of products in the United States.”

In May, Capito said she felt the EPA should put together a model path for each state individually that shows how that state should achieve objectives of meeting the required greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Tuesday’s hearing with the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety also focused on the the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, also called ARENA, which was a bill introduced by Capito in May.

The legislation would empower states to protect people from electricity rate increases, reduce electrical reliability and other harmful effects of the “Clean Power Plan.” Overall, Capito said the ARENA Act would put the economy first and curb federal overreach.

Cicio said they should wait until the courts settle the legislation before states act.

The new limits in the proposed Clean Power Plan, scheduled to take effect later this year, would reduce carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants by 30 percent on average, compared with 2005 levels, before 2030.

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