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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started waging war on the American standard of living. During the past few years, the agency has undertaken the most expansive regulatory assault in history on the production and distribution of affordable and reliable energy. Numerous regulations, all proposed within a short timeframe, have created chaos and uncertainty, stagnating investment as the economy attempts to recover from recession. These regulations are causing the shutdown of power plants across the nation, forcing electricity generation off of coal, destroying jobs, raising energy costs, and decreasing reliability. In addition, the EPA has radically shifted the balance of power between the states and the federal government by violating the concept of cooperative federalism in which the EPA and states are to work together in order to effectively balance economic progress with environmental protection. 

The publications described below are part of ALEC’s EPA Regulatory Train Wreck series. These publications shed light on a few of the more onerous regulations that will hit all Americans in the next few years and on some of the impacts that the nation is already experiencing. The latest publication, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty, focuses specifically on the EPA’s usurpation of state authority on environmental protection and how state legislators can push back.

EPA Report2013: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty, published in June of 2013, reviews the EPA’s unprecedented regulatory encroachment on state sovereignty. In addition to giving a status update of the regulations detailed in previous ALEC EPA publications, this report demonstrates how the EPA’s measures increased the agency’s power at the expense of the states through seizing regulatory authority and replacing input from the states with environmental groups. Lastly, the report provides ALEC model policy that can be used to push back against the EPA’s assault on state sovereignty.

2012: Economy Derailed: State-by-State Impacts of the EPA Regulatory Train Wreck, published in April of 2012, details the most onerous EPA regulations and their specific consequences on state economies. The report highlights the environmental quality improvements made over the past few decades, provides an exhaustive reference list of organizations and groups that oppose the EPA overreach, and makes recommendations on how state legislators can play a role in maintaining state sovereignty over environmental protection.

2011: EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators, published in February of 2011, outlines the costs of major EPA rules on the national level, tells the true story of America’s modern clean air and water successes, and outlines best practices for state legislators. The report explores more than 15 pieces of ALEC model legislation related to regulatory review and state environmental sovereignty, contains a glossary of Clean Air Act terminology, and includes responses from state environmental officials to the heavy-handed approach of EPA.

For more information about the EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck series, contact John Eick, at 571.482.5008 or


EPA’s Assault On State Sovereignty by ALEC_States