House rejection of EPA rules based on 'protecting jobs, energy'
Members of the U.S. House overwhelmingly passed two Environmental Protection Agency nullification bills on to President Barack Obama's desk that Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, say would otherwise have resulted in higher consumer energy prices.
Barton, who represents areas of Tarrant County including Burleson, Crowley and Rendon, said it was a vote to support American energy independence.
"[These bills] will keep the American energy revolution alive and well – this means abundant, affordable and reliable access to energy for all Americans," Barton wrote in a statement.
Senate Joint Resolutions 23 and 24, companions to House bills, nullify the EPA's rule published in October that establishes new source performance standards under the Clean Air Act for carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units, if they are newly constructed, modified or reconstructed. Those units convert fossil fuel energy into electric energy.
"The people's house voted against the Obama Administration's rules for new and existing power plants because they would pointlessly raise energy prices for middle class American households," wrote Williams, who represents all of Johnson County and almost the entirety of Burleson.
The EPA rules are a form of cap and trade, circumventing Congress, Barton wrote, and nullification declares Congress disapproves, he added.
"I was a vocal opponent to cap and trade when it failed in a Democrat-controlled Congress, and it will fail again," Barton said.
If allowed to proceed, the bills would result in an increase of energy prices by up to 20 percent on Texans, Barton wrote.
"This administration has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars to prop up failed renewable energy companies, while crushing dependable, cheap and effective forms of energy with more regulation and more costs," Williams wrote. "Our president has tried to rig the market with technologies that are unreliable, but more preferable to him. His energy policies of picking favorites are a textbook example of European socialism.”
Barton has supported House Resolution 8, the North American Energy and Infrastructure Act of 2015, with his amendment to end the ban on crude oil exports.
"By modernizing infrastructure and improving efficiency and government accountability, this bill provides for an all of the above energy plan and more successfully addresses the president's concerns on global warming," Barton wrote.
Williams chided Democrats in his response.
“When liberals claim ‘climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism,' you have to wonder how the party of President Obama can still be taken seriously.” he wrote.