A main topic discussed at an energy briefing in Billings today: President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. Enacted last August, the Clean Power Plan’s goal is to reduce carbon pollution from power plants.
Montana Senator Steve Daines said this act will kill 7,000 tribal and union jobs within the state. Additionally, he said it will affect $140 million of tax revenues every year that fund schools, teachers and infrastructure.
“It’s going to create a double-digit energy increase for Montanans. To sum it up, the people in Montana who can afford it the least are going to be hurt the most,” Daines said.
The Montana Department of Justice, along with 27 other states in the court of appeals, has filed suit against this plan. According to Attorney General Tim Fox, Montana has briefed an injunction motion and is now looking to have a hearing soon to stop the EPA from effectuating their rules. Fox said he is mainly looking at the state and federal government to make sure Montana’s constitutional rights are protected.
“The people at the University of Montana School of Business study this and they equate this with the recession we went through in terms of the overall impact to the state of Montana,” Fox said.
A report conducted by the Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research projects thousands of jobs will be lost, as well as millions of dollars in tax revenue and personal and business income.