Blunt joins bipartisan call for scrutiny of EPA energy rules

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers on Thursday in urging President Obama to consider the ramifications of anticipated EPA rules that would address greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.

During his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, Obama said he directed his administration to work with states, utilities and others to establish new carbon pollution standards for power plants.

Blunt and the group of 21 senators requested that the president consider how the proposed actions would impact energy costs.

“The most vulnerable families are those hit the hardest by bad energy policies and high utility bills,” the senators said. “Whatever our disagreements might be on how best to approach a changing climate, we think we can all agree that whatever we do should not burden ratepayers and consumers, especially middle and low-income families, with new costs.”

Rural electric cooperative consumers across the country draw approximately 80 percent of their electricity from coal, and the new regulations would harm them and businesses alike, the legislators said.

“Manufacturers and companies will face higher production costs if they are denied access to affordable energy, and instead be forced to use costlier, less reliable forms of energy,” the senators said. “These businesses will either pass these costs along to consumers, or their profits will suffer and threaten their viability.