By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Monday, June 29, in what is being called a win for states and power plants, the US Supreme Court ruled in Michigan vs. Environmental Protection Agency that the US EPA violated its authority when it wrote costly new rules severely limiting the amount of mercury that power plants can discharge without taking economic losses into consideration. Alabama’s Public Service Commission members have long been critics of the heavy handed policies of the EPA under the administration of President Obama and praised the Court’s ruling. Congressman Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) also praised the ruling.
Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (R) said in a statement after the ruling, “Today’s ruling on the EPA by the US Supreme Court was too little and too late for the hard-working people of this country. The US Supreme Court simply acknowledged what we already knew. They rightly recognized that the EPA, in its zeal to push through the liberal agenda of President Obama and his radical environmental cronies, completely disregarded the harm it would cause consumers. These mandates have already cost the consumers and small businesses across this state and nation billions in unnecessary expenses. The simple analogy is you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube. Companies have already shut down coal-fired units and spent billions of dollars to comply with EPA regulations. That is why I will continue to fight for affordable and reliable electricity and against the radical environmental agenda.”
Alabama Public Service Commissioner Chris “Chip” Beeker, Jr. (R) also wrote a statement on Monday: “Today’s Supreme Court ruling against President Obama’s Carbon Tax was a victory for Alabama jobs, but the fight against the overreaching federal government and its attacks on our businesses is far from over. The EPA continues to push an environmental agenda with little regard for the price tag these regulations would impose on employers. In Alabama, nearly half of all the electricity generated comes from coal-fired plants and more than 16,000 Alabama jobs are dependent upon the coal industry. Coal has an estimated $1.3 billion positive impact on our state. I pledge to continue to do all in my power to protect consumers and keep rates low despite these hidden taxes that are being forced upon us by the EPA.”
US Representative Palmer said, ““When deciding whether or not to propose new regulations, the first step should always be determining whether the benefits outweigh the costs. The EPA’s decision to move forward without considering the impact on individuals and the economy was ill-advised and I am pleased the Supreme Court recognized that.”
Rep. Palmer continued, “This Administration has been open about the fact that they want to put the coal industry out of business, regardless of what reasonable standards they may meet. This case is a blow to those efforts. I will continue to work in Congress to reign in the EPA when they overreach on environmental policy.”
Alabama was one of 23 states that joined Michigan in the lawsuit challenging Obama’s authority to vastly expand existing regulations on the power industry. Presumably, the ruling will also impact CO2 regulations and proposed new federal regulatory authority over water as well.
The three members (Commissioner Jeremy Oden serves on the PSC as well) of the Public Service Commission are elected statewide. Congressman Palmer represents Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District.