Press Releases

For Immediate Release
February 24, 2016

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, | 717.720.5447

Top Business Groups Back Legal Effort to Overturn Costly EPA Power Plant Regulations


HARRISBURG - The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, Ohio Chamber of Commerce and Texas Association of Business today filed a joint amicus brief with 166 chambers of commerce and business groups from 40 states in support of a lawsuit by states and industry to overturn EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan.”


EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations, which were finalized in August of 2015, seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector as a whole. The brief outlines the significant detrimental impacts the rule will have on communities throughout the nation. While the U.S. Supreme Court recently recognized the validity of these concerns by imposing a stay in the implementation of the plan, a final ruling on the legality of the regulations still needs to occur to provide certainty to all stakeholders.


“EPA’s own documents in support of this rule show that the net impact on climate change will be minimal,” PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said. “We are handicapping ourselves while both developed and developing nations are increasing their emissions. Pennsylvania has shown that a free and competitive energy market can deliver emissions reductions; the command-and-control approach EPA is using is both unnecessarily costly and legally questionable.”


“The debate about whether we truly understand the scientific basis of climate change should continue – hopefully based on actual facts, valid scientific evidence and objective analysis,” Texas Association of Business CEO Bill Hammond said. “What cannot be debated is that the Clean Power Plan is not only far outside of EPA’s legal authority, it will affect a miniscule percentage of global emissions and have virtually no measurable effect on sea levels or temperatures, while significantly increasing electric bills for consumers. Even EPA cannot dispute that. While we applaud the move by the US Supreme Court to stay the rule, we look forward to the opportunity through the legal process to expose this rule for what it is – an illegal attempt at assuming federal control of each state’s electric power system and energy economy.”


“This is a yet another example of overreach by a federal government agency,” said Ohio Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Andrew E. Doehrel. “The EPA’s actions would impose costly regulations that totally ignore the huge negative impacts on America’s job creators at a time when businesses are finally starting to get back on their feet after the Great Recession.”


The brief explains that states have a long history of making “sustained environmental progress without causing economic harm,” in large part due to their “sensitiv[ity] to the unique circumstances of individual businesses and communities.”  The business groups argue that the Clean Power Plan instead adopts a “blunderbuss approach” that “compel[s] states, utilities, and suppliers to adopt EPA’s preferred sources of power and fuel and to redesign their electricity infrastructure.”  This rushed redesign of the electricity sector “will raise the cost of operations for countless businesses … drive jobs overseas and force businesses to close,” while disproportionately impacting poor and rural communities.  As such, the groups assert that “the rule’s massive economic costs far outweigh its limited environmental benefits.”


EPA has admitted that the plan will increase energy prices nationwide, while doing little to lower overall greenhouse gas emissions. An independent analysis by NERA Economic Consulting projected the plan will increase energy prices nationwide; with Pennsylvania’s prices expected to increase 14-16 percent, Ohio’s by 12-17 percent and Texas’s by 13-18 percent.  Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania are among the leaders of electricity production and total manufacturing output. These projected increased energy costs will create economic ripple effects on both the state and national levels.  


To view the amicus brief, visit


In addition to the three state business organizations, several local chambers from within each state signed onto the brief, including:





Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce

Blair County Chamber of Commerce

Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce

Carroll County Chamber of Commerce

Erie Regional Chamber & Growth Partnership

Greater Irving-Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce

Lima-Allen County Chamber of Commerce

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce

Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association

Indiana County Chamber of Commerce

Longview Chamber of Commerce

Orrville Area Chamber of Commerce

Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association

Lubbock Chamber of Commerce

Upper Sandusky Area Chamber of Commerce

Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce

Midland Chamber of Commerce

Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber

Somerset County Chamber of Commerce

Mount Pleasant/Titus County Chamber of Commerce


Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce

Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce/Tourist Bureau


Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce

Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce



Victoria Chamber of Commerce



Media contact info:


Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry


Tricia Harris


Manager, Communications


Phone: (717) 720-5447






Texas Association of Business


Robert Wood Communications Director


Phone: (512) 477-6721 ext 105 E-mail:




Ohio Chamber of Commerce


Julie Wagner Feasel


Vice President, Communications


Phone: 614-228-4201





The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.