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As the Environmental Protection Agency continues proposing unreasonable regulations without considering the cost to American jobs and energy prices, U.S. Senate Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said it was time Congress step-up. In a speech on the Senate floor today, Enzi advocated passing several legislative proposals to ensure the people’s representatives get a say when it comes to regulatory decisions.

“We need to find a way to empower Congress and the states – those most accountable to the voters, to keep runaway agencies in check,” Enzi said. “If we don’t we’ll continue to see regulations that impede our economy, by directly hurting the energy industry; which hurts individuals and business ratepayers, and is ultimately a price paid by consumers.” 

Enzi said a good step would be to pass the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require Congress to approve all new major regulations with an up-or-down vote. As cosponsor of the legislation, Enzi said the REINS Act would help fight back against the EPA’s most destructive regulations, such as the proposed Clean Power Plan rule designed to put coal out of business by forcing power plants carbon emissions to levels near impossible to achieve in a short time frame.

“This Congress should stand up to this runaway agency,” Enzi said. “But, we need to expand our tools to fight governing by rulemaking rather than representation.”

With an eye on the Clean Power Plan rule, Enzi also stressed the need to pass the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act (ARENA), which would prevent premature power plant closures by delaying the compliance date of the Clean Power Plan until the courts decide if the rule is on good legal standing. Given a recent Supreme Court ruling against another EPA rule, which came too late to stop many coal-fired power plants from being retired or planning to be retired, Enzi said the legislation is more important than ever.

Enzi also discussed his proposed amendment to the Constitution which would give states the ability to repeal federal laws and regulations when ratified by two-thirds of their legislatures.

“Ultimately, the states know what is best for them and it is time to shift the power back into their hands,” Enzi said.