Throughout the eight long years of the Obama Administration, Alabamians suffered under an overly-empowered regulatory state that burdened hardworking men and women and their businesses with countless harmful federal regulations. This type of overreach was seen across the many federal agencies, but perhaps none more blatantly than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). I am very pleased that over the last year and a half, our unified Republican government has worked to dismantle this Obama-era regulatory regime.
I am glad to report that important progress has been made recently, as the Trump Administration’s EPA announced it intends to replace the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan with President Donald Trump’s Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. This is great news that represents an important step towards returning power to the states and further breaking down the regulatory state.
When the Obama Administration first rolled out its so-called “Clean Power Plan,” they touted it as the “single most important step America has ever taken in the fight against global climate change.” What they didn’t say was that despite the significant increase it caused in energy bills, the “Clean Power Plan” actually didn’t do much to alter the impact of future climate change. Under this plan, the EPA implemented stringent regulations that limited carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, thus hiking rates and shutting down energy plants – especially in the coal industry.
Of course, I think we can all agree that achieving more affordable, reliable, and safe energy is a priority, but adding more regulations and burdensome expenses to Americans are not solutions. That’s why the Trump Administration’s proposed ACE rule is so important. The rule would empower states with the flexibility to determine how best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing modern, reliable, and affordable energy for the American people. This is a far better solution than the Obama Administration’s “one-size-fits-all” approach that treated every state the same.
It’s no secret that for eight years, the EPA and other federal agencies went beyond their rightful authority and pushed for unnecessary regulations that negatively impacted our economy, discouraged investment, and stifled job creation here in the United States. These agencies became known for “backdoor legislating” by frequently attempting to circumvent Congress to set policy.
I am proud that over the last year and a half, Congress has worked to reverse course by passing several Congressional Review Acts, which is the process of striking rules and regulations left over from previous administrations. These actions, along with the steps taken by the Trump Administration, have already and will continue to unleash our nation’s economy.
Among the many challenges we continue to face as a nation, I believe making America energy independent and not reliant on foreign nations must continue to be a priority. While I am pleased that energy exploration methods have improved over the years, we must continue to look for ways to secure America’s energy for future generations.
I believe American innovation and our entrepreneurial spirit are the keys to meeting the energy challenges of the 21st Century. President Trump’s proposed ACE plan embraces this outlook and will give Alabama companies certainty to create jobs and prosper as we move forward.
Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.