HELENA, Mont. – Members of the Montana Public Service Commission today praised the President’s executive order to begin rolling back burdensome environmental regulations that restrict domestic energy production and raise rates for utility customers.
“The President’s order is welcome news for Montanans who suffered the most under the draconian policies of the prior administration,” said Chairman Brad Johnson, R-East Helena. “Policies like the Clean Power Plan destroy some of our most important industries in Montana while visiting double digit increases on the ratepayer. In turn, these rules, by the EPA’s own admission, do virtually nothing to combat global CO2 levels. It’s time to allow regulators in the states to do the job that the people elected us to do. I’m hopeful that this order represents the beginning of a trend under the new administration to return regulatory authority to the states.”
Tuesday’s executive order, among other actions, directs EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to initiate a formal review of the Clean Power Plan. Speaking to the Clean Power Plan specifically, Vice Chairman Travis Kavulla, R-Great Falls, said,
“Traditionally, the EPA's regulation revolves around installing specific pollution control technologies at a facility. In its Clean Power Plan, the EPA stepped well beyond this practice, relying on an obscure provision of the Clean Air Act that never was intended to allow EPA to decide the nation's energy mix. That is a job for the nation's elected officials and consumers themselves, not a bureaucracy, and this is a welcome step toward restoring EPA to its lawful place in our government,” said Travis Kavulla R-Great Falls, Vice-Chairman of the Commission.
Commissioner Bob Lake, R-Hamilton, viewed the President’s executive order as a much needed step towards restoring balance to the regulatory approach taken by the EPA and other federal agencies.
“This order is an important course correction for Montana and for the country. These policies do not enter a vacuum. They have a direct effect on both jobs and the rates customers pay for their electricity service. President Trump’s executive order acknowledges these impacts and directs federal agencies to consider these factors as they review existing climate policies.”
Other commissioners saw the President’s action as an attempt to reign in what they termed “blatant federal overreach.”
“I applaud President Trump for putting the brakes on President Obama’s unconstitutional and unconscionable war on Montana coal, war on Montana jobs, and war on Montana families,” said Commissioner Tony O’Donnell, R-Billings.
“The President’s action reflects a great compassion for the struggling families and wage-earners of our nation, whose futures were being sacrificed on the idol of climate hysteria and extremist politics,” said Commissioner Roger Koopman, R-Bozeman. “Moreover, it shows great respect for the rule of law and the legal tenet that bureaucracies cannot make law.”