“The EPA acts as though it has the legislative authority to re-engineer the nation’s electric generating system and power grid. It does not.” Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe makes this point clear in his recent opinion article in the Wall Street Journal that discusses the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest power grab, the Clean Power Plan – a proposal that would institute a new regulatory framework on states that will significantly transform how electricity in America is generated, distributed, and used. Tribe goes into detail about the legal basis of the EPA’s actions and concludes, “Even more fundamentally, the EPA, like every administrative agency, is constitutionally forbidden to exercise powers Congress never delegated to it in the first place.” Read Tribe’s full article here.
In addition to the constitutional arguments Tribe makes, the economic blow is staggering. Across the wide range of economic and industrial sectors in North Carolina, job creators share a common priority: sustaining access to affordable, reliable energy that provides a critical operating advantage in an increasingly competitive global economy. Nearly every leading industry in the state—from manufacturing and construction to agriculture and transportation—benefits greatly from North Carolina’s dependable and economic energy resources. Analysis shows from 2014-2030, the South Atlantic Region is expected to see an average annual decrease in GDP on $10.5 billion and a loss of 59,700 jobs. Additionally in the same time frame, consumers in the South would be hit with an annual average increase of $6.6 billion and in total a $111 billion increase in energy costs.
The North Carolina Chamber continues to work with the Partnership for a Better Energy Future to educate and mobilize the broader business community and elected and public officials to address widespread concerns with the proposed greenhouse gas rules. We will continue to keep you informed on developments around this issue.
Vice President Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber