U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green) has attacked proposed new environmental regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions as costly burdens on his district.
On Thursday, Mr. Latta criticized the proposed carbon dioxide regulations to the new EPA acting assistant administrator, Janet McCabe, during a meeting of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Energy and Power Subcommittee.
Mr. Latta said the state gets 70 percent of its energy from coal, and his district, which covers much of northwest Ohio, including the western half of Lucas County, is more dependent than that.
“The EPA’s proposed carbon dioxide regulations on power plants will have negligible environmental benefits and severe impacts in my home state of Ohio, costing thousands of energy and manufacturing jobs and resulting in higher energy costs for consumers,” Mr. Latta said.
He said President Obama “is attempting to unilaterally implement his failed cap-and-trade energy sector overhaul, ignoring the wishes of the American people and Congress.”
“We have seen the negative impacts [that] nationalizing critical sectors of our economy can have on the American way of life. This proposal will allow the EPA, a federal agency run by unelected bureaucrats, to dictate the best energy mix for each state and further require EPA approval for any changes to that plan,” Mr. Latta said.
Supporters of the regulation said that the energy sector is moving away from coal, and that failure to act will lead to catastrophic climate change.
“Industry always exaggerates the impact of clear air regulations. But the history of the Clean Air Act shows we can have both a clean environment and a strong economy,” said U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.).
Robert Fry, Mr. Latta’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 4 general election for the 5th Congressional District, said “Congressman Latta’s statement that the President is ‘nationalizing’ electric power plants is not only not true, it is laughably naive. No one is nationalizing anything.
“The reality is that dirty air affects all of us, and for a member of Congress to stick his head in the sand and pretend maybe no one will notice or it will just go away is irresponsible,” Mr. Fry said.
“We as a nation need to do something because these corporations will not clean up on their own, they are for-profit companies, bottom line over anything else,” he said.
Mr. Latta was an outspoken opponent of the cap-and-trade energy bill in 2009 that passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but failed to advance in the Senate. The bill would have made the U.S. reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by the next century.