Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates will announce oversight legislation in response to the latest EPA regulations at a pro-energy rally in Richmond Monday night. Delegate Israel O’Quinn (R-Washington) will introduce legislation ahead of the 2016 session to require General Assembly approval and oversight of the Commonwealth’s plan to comply with the E.P.A.’s “Clean Power Plan” regulations. The EPA released the final Clean Power Plan rule last week. “The 1,500-plus pages of regulations released by President Obama’s E.P.A. could drive up energy prices and damage Virginia’s already struggling economy,” said House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford). “The House of Delegates will fight to protect the working families, seniors and small businesses that will be hurt by these burdensome regulations. The Commonwealth should delay the implementation of any compliance plan while the regulations are litigated and the General Assembly should have final approval and oversight of the plan.”
“For Virginians, the impact of complying with President Obama’s regulations will be severe. Energy prices will go up, disproportionately hurting senior citizens and the poor, and the rules will deal yet another blow to small businesses who are already struggling.” said Delegate O’Quinn. “These people who will be affected by these regulations should have a say in how we comply with that plan through their elected representatives.”
“Our proposed legislation would require General Assembly approval and oversight before Virginia complies with the EPA’s new regulations,” O’Quinn continued. “Governor McAuliffe must send his plan to the legislature for review, and the House and Senate will then take a vote on behalf of the Virginians they represent. If the plan fails to pass, Governor McAuliffe tries again. He cannot implement the plan without approval of the General Assembly and, by extension, the citizens of Virginia. It is that simple.”
The legislation will be formally introduced Monday night at the Americans for Prosperity Power-Up Virginia Rally at the University of Richmond. House Majority Leader Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), Delegate Jimmie Massie (R-Henrico) and Delegate O’Quinn will all speak.
“Virginians are frustrated. The economy is flat lining, families are struggling paycheck to paycheck and businesses are just trying to get by,” said Leader Cox. “The Obama-Clinton-McAuliffe regulatory agenda is stifling growth. The higher energy prices from this plan will only make it worse. It is time for the people to have a say in these regulations and that is what our approval and oversight legislation would do.”
“Whether it is a main street retailer in Hampton Roads, small auto-repair shop in the Shenandoah Valley, major manufacturer here in Richmond or large data center in Northern Virginia, all businesses will be impacted by these costly and burdensome regulations,” said Delegate Massie. “The higher energy prices caused by these regulations either cut in to the bottom line or they’re passed on to customers. Either way, someone loses. Our approval and oversight legislation is a commonsense step to protect Virginia families and their jobs.”