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House passes bills to repeal Clean Power Plan

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World Coal,

The US House of Representatives has approved two resolutions that would overturn the Obama Administration’s attempts to cut US carbon emissions. The House voted 242-180 to repeal the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) controversial Clean Power Plan and 235-188 to block the EPA’s regulations limiting carbon emissions from new and existing power plants.

The move comes as President Barack Obama attends the UN climate change talks (COP21) in Paris. The Senate had already passed both resolutions. But the White House has vowed to veto the bills and Congress lacks the necessary votes to force the measures through.

“We are happy that the Congressional majority recognises the damage this plan has already done to our industry and the nations electric grid,” said Bill Raney, President of the West Virginia Coal Association. “We believe the EPA’s Clean Power Plan threatens the nations electricity grid and its economy. West Virginia is already seeing the damage […] but make no mistake, if this plan is implemented, the rest of the nation will share the pain.”

According to the WVCA, compliance with the Clean Power Plan would cost nearly US$300 billion and result in rising electricity prices in all of the lower 48 states.

“Hardworking families cannot afford these crushing regulations that threaten jobs and affordable energy while doing little to actually improve the environment,” said Senator Shelley Moore Capito, one of the Senate sponsors of the bill.

Capito also provided a reality check to negotiators at COP21: “Sending these resolutions to the president’s desk is an important step in the fight against the harmful Clean Power Plan, and shows that any international climate deal reached in Paris will be met with skepticism here at home. World leaders should be cautious about entering into a deal with an administration whose misguided policies lack the backing of a bipartisan majority in Congress.”

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