Congressman Sanford Bishop

Representing the 2nd District of Georgia


Dec 22, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA-02), Member of the House Committee on Appropriations, and Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today wrote to President Barack Obama to express their concerns regarding the proposed rule announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 2, 2014, entitled “Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.” EPA’s proposal would dramatically affect the “way we generate, transmit and consume electricity in the United States” by asserting unprecedented federal overreach in state electricity decision-making.

Joined by nearly one hundred additional Members of Congress in the letter, Whitfield and Bishop detailed the complexity of the rule stating “EPA specifically directs states to consider renewable energy standards, generation dispatch changes, co-firing or switching to natural gas, construction of new natural gas combined-cycle plants, transmission efficiency improvements, energy storage technology, plant retirements, expanding renewables like wind and solar, expanding nuclear, market-based trading programs, and demand-side energy efficiency and conservation programs.” 

“Under the rule, EPA would also have the ability to impose its own alternate federal energy plan on a state in the event EPA did not approve a state’s plan. We agree that states should be free under their own laws to pursue these types of energy policies and activities within their own borders, but it is not the role of the EPA to exercise ultimate authority over a state’s electricity system.”

Furthermore, Members stressed the importance of maintaining affordable and reliable electricity citing EPA’s own projections that “there would be additional power plant retirements and electricity rate increases.”  If this were to occur, it would “…threaten electricity reliability and drive up energy costs for consumers, including the elderly, poor, and those on fixed incomes, at a time when over 50 million Americans are currently living in poverty.”

The Members concluded the letter by recognizing that although some of their own views may vary on the statutory authority of the regulations they are “…all concerned that this rule is simply unworkable as proposed and, if finalized, would effectively give EPA control over a state’s generation, supply, and consumption of power. Accordingly, we respectfully ask that you direct the EPA to withdraw its proposed rule.”

“I am pleased that Representative Whitfield and I were able to secure strong bipartisan support to prevent EPA from overreaching its authority,” said Bishop. “The proposed EPA rule would mean higher energy costs for consumers and would have a detrimental impact on our nation’s economy. Congress cannot and must not allow that to happen now and into the future.”

“I want to thank all of the Members who joined together in this effort, and especially Representative Bishop for his dedication to affordable electricity, and for recognizing the dangerous impact of this EPA’s federal overreach,” said Whitfield. “EPA’s extreme actions are an attempt to force states and energy producers to conform to regulations that dramatically increase electricity costs, destroy American jobs, and weaken our economy. I will not sit idly by as these regulations are made a reality. As Subcommittee Chairman, I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to exercise our oversight of the EPA and thoroughly examine all aspects of these regulations.”

To view a copy of the letter to the President, please click here.