Latta opposes more energy regulation

Congressman Bob Latta spoke against the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on carbon dioxide capture storage for new power plants at the North Central Electric Cooperative lunch Monday.

Members of NCEC, Action Committee for Rural Electrification and Co-op Owners for Political Action came together to voice concerns on the regulations and get more information on the government shutdown and budget from Latta.

The new EPA rules affect new power plants and require them to capture carbon dioxide before it is emitted and store it underground.

After a year, the EPA can pass a rule affecting existing power plants.

The process has not been tested in large-scale projects and could result in higher energy costs for Ohioans.

“It looks like the technology’s out there,” Latta, R-Bowling Green, said. “But the problem is, it’s not out there.”

He spoke about the EPA and how the government has imposed $1.8 trillion of federal regulations that affect businesses, individuals and farmers in his district.

He said when speaking to environmental agencies, he asked whether they considered the effects of the regulations on individuals, including energy costs. He also said continuing energy regulations could hurt the U.S. economy.

“Because of the abundance of energy that the United States has, the cost could go down if it’s not for what could happen in the administration. We have factories that could come in from overseas that are foreign-owned that would employ Americans,” he said. “It is a constant struggle.”

Latta said 78 percent of Ohio uses coal-produced energy and that regulating coal energy production would eliminate Ohio’s competitive edge in bringing businesses into the state.

“It’s tough enough right now, when you’re saying what do we need to do to attract more jobs, all of a sudden, they’re saying it’s going to cost more to do business in these coming years, then we’re going to go someplace else,” he said. “That’s why we need to hear from you all. Your voices are what counts.”

Latta said he and the energy and power subcommittee are putting together a draft for legislation to look into the regulation. He is also completing a resolution opposing the regulation.

“But the only way we can get a lot of things done is with what they call a Congressional Review Act,” he said. Latta said the House of Representatives and the Senate would have to approve the act to disapprove the regulations.

“I think we could get something approved out of the House, but if we can’t get the Senate to do it, we’re stuck with it,” he said.

In order to stop the regulations, he said individuals need to vote in the election.

Latta also spoke about the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act and how the government will have the ability to pull power back from groups such as the EPA.

“If a department agency comes up with a rule or regulation that’s going to (be) $100 million in cost, then it has to come back to Congress to be approved,” he said. “If Congress doesn’t approve it, it doesn’t go into effect.”

He said the Senate would have to pass the Act and President Barack Obama would have to sign it.

“We have the opportunity at our fingertips, the ability to run our country without having energy being imported from someplace else,” he said. “We can take care of ourselves.”

Latta said he voted against raising the debt limit and that the government did not have unlimited funds or authority. He also said the budget issue will continue to escalate if the government does not limit spending.

Latta also said the partial government shutdown will affect areas with large military installations and that the effects at the local level will come slower, mostly affecting governmental agencies completing inspections.

He said that to push the government in the right direction, people need to be engaged and cannot get discouraged.

“This is still the greatest country on Earth,” he said. “People just have to remember to have hope.”

NCEC General Manager Markus Bryant encouraged members send comments opposing energy regulation.