Rep Smith: Keeping The Lights On

Mar 31, 2017

What if I told you your government was about to triple your monthly electric bill? President Obama’s so called “Clean Power Plan” would have done just that – increasing electric costs and forcing coal plants in Missouri to close.

Missouri residents get 83 percent of their energy from coal-fired power plants. If implemented, this rule would have increased the cost of electricity and made it unaffordable for many residents in the state. Fortunately, President Trump took major steps this week to eliminate the Clean Power Plan and stop the EPA’s costly rules for energy production. This will help prevent skyrocketing utility rates, ensure coal plants stay open and keep jobs in Missouri.

The Clean Power Plan is just the latest in a long list of regulations that show how unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats do not understand southeast and south central Missouri. After President Trump was elected, his team asked me to help identify regulations hurting rural America, and I immediately thought about those of you who told me that your utility bills were going to triple in cost after the EPA rolled out this ridiculous rule. Thankfully, this week, President Trump did away with major components of Obama’s plan.

Contrary to what liberal environmentalists think, our coal plants are some of the cleanest in the world. So clean in fact, that the Obama Administration had to use fake science about climate change to justify their plan. In 2015, a whistleblower from the government’s main source for environmental research revealed that one of their scientists was “putting his finger on the scale” for climate change, making the numbers look more dramatic than they actually were. This week, I voted on the HONEST Act to stop this from happening. Right now, the EPA does not have to make their research public. AKA – the science behind their rules is a secret and cannot be vetted by researchers who may have different information to offer. The HONEST Act means the EPA will have to share their research with everyone and they will not be able to get away with using fake science from someone who cooked the books in favor of a biased agenda.

I have been fighting against burdensome regulations since my time in the Missouri State House of Representatives. I even filed papers in one court case to block the Obama Administration’s executive overreach and implementation of the Clean Power Plan. Most recently, I authored the SCRUB Act. Passed in a 240-185 bipartisan vote by the U.S. House of Representatives last month, the SCRUB Act is designed to identify and eliminate ineffective and intrusive federal regulations. Now, I am asking the U.S. Senate to vote in favor of the SCRUB Act and send it to the White House for President Trump’s signature.

Congress and the American people rejected Obama’s climate change agenda, so instead, the Obama Administration went around Congress, ignoring the will of the people. Now we are undoing the rules they wrote. From ending the damaging Clean Power Plan, to stopping the EPA from aggressively regulating every pond, raindrop or bucket of water on a farm, I am grateful that we finally have a President who is as focused as I am on getting Washington off the backs and out of the way of Missouri families, farmers and small businesses.