Consider the ferocity of comments from three of the country's most prominent energy-producing states that followed this week's release of U.S. EPA's Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said the federal government seems "hell-bent on threatening" principles of a free market. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) called EPA's plan "one of the most expansive and expensive regulatory burdens ever imposed on U.S. families and businesses." Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell (R) said EPA's move "will lead to fewer jobs and higher utility bills."
These energy states are among the most vocal opponents of the Clean Power Plan, even as their jurisdictions could see benefits from increased wind, solar or natural gas used in generating U.S. electricity (E&ENews PM, July 24, 2014).
"The idea that the EPA is announcing regulations that all the states have to comply with puts the hair up on the back of the Texas neck," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in the Dallas area. "Even though it's telling us to continue moving in the direction that we're already moving, it's setting standards that we must meet."
That means the reaction is, according to Jillson: "We'll mind our own business down here. You guys leave us alone."
He called Oklahoma and Texas "classic" energy states, while Louisiana is a little different. But the Pelican State does have Gov. Bobby Jindal as a Republican presidential candidate, which Jillson said comes with a desire to promote states' rights.