WASHINGTON – Cass County Rep. Jack Bondon spoke about how the Clean Power Plan would negatively affect his constituents and their pocket book if the Environmental Protection Agency is able to regulate Missouri’s energy.
Bondon, R-Belton, testified about the impact of the Clean Power Plan on state governments in front of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on Thursday morning.
“In Missouri, about half of the state’s households already spend 18 cents of every take-home dollar on energy,” he said. “My constituents tell me that they cannot afford to pay higher utility bills.”
Bondon went on to add that Missouri’s state control over power would be hindered by the implementation of the Clean Power Plan.
“Missouri has taken the lead in deciding its own energy future,” he testified. “Unfortunately, the Clean Power Plan would substitute EPA’s energy preferences for Missourians’ energy choices.”
The Clean Power Plan was announced by President Barack Obama and the EPA last year. The agency says the rule would create standards for power plants to reduce their carbon emissions, with the idea of reducing their impact on climate change.
In February, as part of a lawsuit that was brought in 24 other states, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the plan. Missouri and Attorney General Chris Koster were part of that lawsuit.
“The Court’s decision was not on the merits of the rule,” the agency said about the stay. “EPA firmly believes the Clean Power Plan will be upheld when the merits are considered because the rule rests on strong scientific and legal foundations. For the states that choose to continue to work to cut carbon pollution from power plants and seek the agency’s guidance and assistance, EPA will continue to provide tools and support.”
While some of Bondon’s testimony focused on Missouri’s ability to control its own energy future, he said his main purpose was to protect his constituents from a plan that could double their energy rates by 2030.
“There are many interested parties to this discussion, the energy sector, economists, ecologists and scientists, state agencies, and more. But I don’t work for them. I work for the people I represent, and so I look at The Clean Power Plan from that perspective: The perspective of the ratepayer, the consumer, the single parent, the retiree on a fixed income, and the business owner struggling to make payroll for their employees. I am their voice in Jefferson City and I am their voice here today.”
Bondon was invited to testify in front of the committee by U.S. Sen. Jim Imhofe, R-Ok. Bondon has been a critic of the Clean Power Plan and has filed legislation in Missouri to delay the implementation of the plan and its costs to Missourians.
“These bills are about taxpayer protection, and ratepayer protection,” said Bondon. “I can find no reason to spend Missourians’ taxpayer dollars on this stayed EPA plan that may be overturned by the courts, or hopefully, withdrawn by a new President.”
In addition to the specific battle over power plants, Bondon also said this was an issue generally about federal government overreach under the Obama administration.
“The CPP is a double ‘power-grab.’ First, it is another example of President Obama’s agencies creating new rules that grab more power from the individual states and citizens,” he said. “Second, it is the EPA literally grabbing Missouri’s power production and enabling bureaucrats sitting in office buildings in Washington D.C. to dictate what they think is best for Missourians’ energy future.”
Bondon and the Missouri GOP’s efforts to combat the Clean Power Plan in Missouri have seen some successes. Through the budget process, spending on implementing the Clean Power Plan in the state has been prohibited until after FY 2017.