Skinning the cat | Speaker.gov

Today, Congress added another arrow in its quiver in our fight for American energy.

This battle is over the crown jewel of the Obama climate legacy: the “Clean Power Plan,” a massive regulation designed to devastate coal country and remake the power sector as we know it. What does this mean for Americans? You guessed it: higher energy costs.

The Obama administration doesn’t care. In fact, higher energy costs is the goal. (We’ve seen it time and time again.)

This regulatory attack lies at the center of the Obama administration’s War on Affordable Energy. The president’s first strategy to centralize command and control of the power sector was a legislative one, his coveted cap-and-trade legislation, which Congress soundly rejected. But he didn't stop there. As President Obama revealed after it failed in 2010, "cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat. It's not the only way." Ultimately, when President Obama failed to change the law, he decided to break the law. He empowered his EPA to go to any regulatory lengths necessary to reshape American electricity generation.

But this time, he went too far. Earlier this month, in a win for the states and the American people, the Supreme Court halted the regulation from going into effect until major legal questions are settled.

Now that legal fight is heating up. The House and Senate joined together to file an amicus brief to support the states in the State of West Virginia et al v. EPA litigation pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. 

We argue that this regulatory onslaught is an illegal, unconstitutional federal power grab. It twists the Clean Air Act to interpret an expansion of federal authority that the law never intended. It usurps the states’ rightful regulatory regimes to accomplish federal ends.

“This move would have stunned both the writers of the Clean Air Act and the founders of our country,” Speaker Ryan, who signed on to the brief along with 171 representatives and 34 senators, said. “It’s a blatant violation of the law of the land—one that will cause a lot of pain around this country. We will not rest until the War on Affordable Energy is stopped.”