The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality rightly filed a motion to block the rule in federal court at the direction of Governor Bryant. Attorney General Jim Hood now needs to step up for his state and join 27 other states in challenging the power plan.
Particularly disturbing is that President Obama is stopping at nothing to impose the EPA’s rule on states – even though the Clean Air Act does not give the EPA authority to promulgate this type of regulation. The president could go to Congress to get authorization, but he knows he would fail. Instead of living with the legal limits on his authority, he is acting through executive fiat.
To make matters worse, the president is also ignoring the Constitution, which limits what the federal government can tell states to do. If the EPA’s regulation goes into effect, the federal government will impose strict new rules on how states manage electricity production. That is a complete usurpation of states’ rights.
The problem’s with this rule begs the question why Attorney General Hood has not joined our governor and DEQ in pushing back against the president? Elected officials and attorneys general from coast-to-coast are opposing it in federal court to defend our country against federal control.
The continued assault on states’ rights is an important reason for the state of Mississippi, including Attorney General Hood, to fight, but so too is the carbon rule’s impact on Mississippi consumers. If the president’s regulation goes into effect, our electricity prices will go up by as much as 15 percent.
This issue is especially important for our many middle- and low-income families. More than 60 percent of Mississippi families live on less than $22,000 per year. If electricity prices get higher, these households – already devoting 19 percent of their family budgets on energy costs – will be squeezed to make ends meet. No one should have to struggle to purchase groceries because their electricity bill is too high.
We cannot afford to let President Obama bypass Congress, subvert the Constitution and ignore the law to enact this expensive regulation. It’s imperative that Governor Bryant and Mississippi’s DEQ continue participating in and supporting the coalition fighting the carbon rule. Attorney General Jim Hood would be wise to join them.
» Clarke Reed is a businessman and investor from Greenville, who was from 1966 to 1976 the state chairman of the Mississippi Republican Party. Reed was instrumental in the nomination of U.S. President Gerald R. Ford at the 1976 Republican National Convention.