WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito vocalized her reasons on the Senate floor for the bipartisan resolution of disapproval she and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp introduced for the EPA's proposed Clean Power Plan regulations for existing power sources.
Capito (R.-W.Va.), spoke Tuesday as part of a colloquy with Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Environmental and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.).
McConnell introduced a related resolution of disapproval regarding the proposed Clean Power Plan regulations for new power sources.
"Today I rise on behalf of West Virginian workers, families and communities and all hard-working Americans who will bear the burden of these erroneous carbon mandates," Capito said. "The bipartisan resolution of disapproval that I have introduced with my colleagues, Sen. Heitkamp .. and 47 other co-sponsors will block the EPA's greenhouse gas regulations targeting existing power sources."
Capito also said she also strongly supported McConnell's companion resolution to block the regulations targeting new power plants.
Capito said as she was writing her speech, she realized she had been saying many of the same words before, expressed the same frustrations, and mentioned similar statistics, but the difference this time is that now we have already seen the devastating effects of regulatory overreach.
"We know what the new reality would be," she said. "The new reality would be what we are facing with these new carbon regulations."
Capito said the reality would be the hardships families would endure, including thousands of lay-offs that have already been issued.
"Just this morning, nearly 200 West Virginia coal miners in Randolph County were informed that their jobs would be gone by Christmas," Capito said. "Think about how those families will spend their Christmas holiday. And then consider how those realities would be magnified and felt throughout many households across the country if these carbon mandates move forward."
Capito said struggling middle class families and those on fixed incomes are already feeling the squeeze from higher electricity bills.
"Our most vulnerable will bear the burden," she said.
Capito said this is not a natural disaster, a fiscal crisis or uncontrollable event.
"This is a carefully crafted, precise and very meditated assault on certain areas of the country," she said. "Policies that help some states and really hurt others. Policies that target states like West Virginia and North Dakota, where we produce some of the most affordable and reliable energy."
Capito said these policies are ripping the American dream away from families in West Virginia.
"Our families want and deserve healthy and clean air and water and want to live in a great environment," she said. "But policies in Washington that pit one state against another and prioritize certain communities and certain jobs over others are bringing the livelihoods of many to a halt."
Capito said members of Congress now have the opportunity to express those concerns with these carbon mandates.
"We have an opportunity to weigh in about whether these burdensome regulations should go into effect," she said. "I believe that a majority of my colleagues understand the need for affordable and reliable energy and that is why I am confident that Congress will pass these resolutions and place this critical issue of America's economic future squarely on President Obama's desk."