Bipartisan Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA) Will Stop the EPA’s Attempted Electricity System Takeover While Restoring State Authority

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) joined her colleagues this afternoon to introduce new legislation that will halt the damaging effects of the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to control new and existing power plants. The bill, known as the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), was introduced by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s Clean Air and Nuclear Safety Subcommittee. Senator Fischer released the following statement:

 “As a 100 percent public power state, Nebraska will be disproportionately impacted by President Obama’s overregulation of our electricity system. Families and businesses will be forced to pay for costly plant upgrades, higher electricity bills, and more expensive goods and services. That is why I am proud to cosponsor this legislation to protect Nebraska families from the EPA’s proposed takeover of our electric grid. This overreach is unnecessary and with this bill, we can empower states across the country to protect their citizens without harming our economy.”

 The ARENA Act protects states from the EPA’s unprecedented power grab. It also protects ratepayers from increased electricity rates and reduced reliability. Specifically, the bill would:

Prevent mandates for unproven technology: The bill would require an agency to achieve a standard for at least 12 months at six separate power facilities throughout the country before setting a technology-based standard for new power plants. The bill would also prevent the EPA from using any demonstration projects (which are reliant on federal support) from being used to set the standard.

Extend compliance dates: The bill would extend the rule’s compliance dates pending final judicial review, including the dates for submission of state plans.

Hold the EPA accountable: This bill would require the EPA to issue state-specific model plans demonstrating how each state could meet the required greenhouse gas emissions reductions under the rule.

Enable states to protect ratepayers: The bill would provide that no state shall be required to implement a state or federal plan that the state’s governor determines would negatively impact economic growth, negatively impact the reliability of the electricity system or negatively impact electricity ratepayers.

Protect highway fund dollars: The bill would prevent the EPA from withholding highway funds from any states for noncompliance with the “Clean Power Plan.”

Click here to view the text of the ARENA Act.