Tennessee Should Push Back Against EPA’s Agenda-Driven Rules Say Lawmakers

(NASHVILLE, Tenn.), August 6, 2015 – Tennessee should push back against new agenda-driven rules by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) governing emissions limits on power plants say 19 key state lawmakers. The legislators sent a letter to Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery this week asking him to join other states in challenging the rules in court in order to block implementation.

The final emissions rules were announced by President Obama and the EPA on Monday. The call from legislators to fight back against the EPA follows similar action last month when Slatery joined states in challenging a controversial rule that gives federal agencies too much authority over many of the country’s smaller streams and wetlands.

“The entry of Tennessee into the lawsuit regarding the overreaching, nonscientific based EPA rules regarding the waterways of the U.S. was correct and necessary,” said the letter. “It was the right thing to do to push back against a political agenda driven by an out-of-control EPA.”

“Equally necessary is our need to join in a suit opposing the new rules against the emission of carbon dioxide. If these new rules weren’t so potentially devastating to the cost of producing the coal-fired generation of electricity, they would be laughable. Carbon dioxide is produced by respiration, not combustion. It is the essential element in the photosynthesis cycle, which results in oxygen and food.”

“As Tennesseans who rely on the accessibility of affordable, dependable electricity, we cannot allow a runaway federal agency to destroy the economic development of our state,” the letter continued. “As Americans who have a responsibility to our future and the economic sustainability of our way of life, we must stand in opposition to these agenda-driven new rules.”

Jay Lehr, author of the science-based clean air and clean water regulations of the 1970s, and many of his colleagues are also calling for these new rules to be challenged.

“The takeover of EPA and all of its activities by liberal activists was slow and methodical over the past 30 years,” said Lehr in a policy brief for the Heartland Institute published last July. “Today, EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups. Its rules account for about half of the nearly $2 trillion a year cost of complying with all national regulations in the U.S. President Barack Obama is using it to circumvent Congress to impose regulations on the energy sector that will cause prices to “skyrocket.”

The letter was signed by Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma), Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey, Representative Sheila Butt (R-Columbia), Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Representative Jay Reedy (R-Erin), Representative David Alexander (R-Winchester), House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), Representative Steve McDaniel (R-Parkers Crossroads), Representative Leigh Wilburn (R-Somerville), Senator Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville), Representative Andy Holt (Dresden), Representative Rick Womick (R-Rockvale), Senator Paul Bailey (R-Sparta), Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), Representative Jerry Sexton (R-Bean Station), Representative Debra Moody (R-Covington), Representative Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster), Representative Curtis Halford (R-Dyer) and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro).

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