AUG 12, 2014
There is a right way to do the right thing, but also a wrong way to do the right thing. Even the best of intentions can lead to negative results. You know what they say about the road to hell — it’s paved with good intentions.
The best of intentions can also carry unintended consequences. As stewards of the environment, it is our responsibility to protect it and ensure that we leave it in great condition for years to come. I agree that the environment must be properly protected through sound regulation. Still, that regulation must balance between practical steps to keep it clean, allowing businesses to operate and expand, while also protecting consumers.
South Carolina wants to work with the EPA to protect our citizens and natural resources for future generations; however, we are simply asking that the EPA consider the economic impact of their actions as well.
When President Obama rolled out his Climate Action Plan last year, it was praised by some in the media for its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, it was simply a new name slapped on the administration’s previous failed initiatives.
The plan takes aim at carbon pollution generated by power plants and other manufacturers. This administration is using the EPA beyond the scope of its authority to crack the regulatory whip to prevent economic recovery in the name of environmental protection.
The EPA seems to stop at nothing when it comes to creating new rules and regulations they claim are in our country’s best interest, but in reality, will ultimately bankrupt entire portions of our economy and drive up the cost of energy for all Americans.
In June, the EPA revealed its proposed standards under the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Under this proposal, each state would need to cut its carbon dioxide emissions rate from current coal-fired power plants to meet state-specific standards starting in 2020. The regulation is a centerpiece of President Obama’s climate initiative.
This federal overreach is unimaginable. This is why I joined a bipartisan coalition of 12 state Attorneys General in a lawsuit against the EPA for their unprecedented actions in attempting to regulate power plant pollution under the Clean Air Act. Simply put, the EPA doesn’t have the authority to regulate existing sources of air pollution.
The proposed regulations would mean higher power bills for South Carolinians — and that isn’t something we are going to let happen without a fight. We are asking the court to block the EPA from implementing these unfounded rules.
This is once again an example of the EPA overstepping its legal boundaries. As Attorney General, I will do everything within my duty to protect the rule of law and the ability of South Carolinians to live, work and raise a family without paying drastically higher energy bills because unelected bureaucrats are regulating through administrative fiat.
Continued regulatory overreach by the EPA is bad for South Carolina businesses, South Carolina families and bad for our future generations. It’s bad because federal bureaucrats can’t be allowed to make up the rules as they go along. It’s bad because the new restrictions would mean higher electric bills for South Carolina’s families and small businesses. And it’s bad when runaway red tape in Washington short-circuits the constitutional process. Along with my fellow attorneys general, I’m committed to fighting this action in court, to prevent unconstitutional overreaches by unelected EPA bureaucrats from disrupting our way of life, rule of law and family budgets.
This Op-Ed was published in The Greenville News
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