Next month, President Obama heads to Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, and he isn’t going empty-handed. In coordination with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, the President has created his Clean Power Plan, a dangerous and costly climate change initiative that would leave America at an international economic disadvantage for little environmental gain. As the conference gets closer, here are three things to remember about the President’s Clean Power Plan: 

1. Similar legislation could not pass in 2009
In 2009, President Obama was riding a wave of popularity and turned his focus from his campaign victory to the legislative wish list given to him by liberal lobbyists and the radical base of the Democratic Party. A top priority was climate change, but despite his personal popularity, overwhelming democratic majorities in both chambers, and help from then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, he could not pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey Bill. The failure of that bill was a severe example of just how disastrous the legislation was. 

2. The Clean Power Plan, and the President’s climate agreements, will put America at a disadvantage 
President Obama is intent on reaching stringent emissions agreements in Paris next month, but in his negotiations, it’s imperative that any agreement include equal commitments from other countries. If not, he will put America at a severe economic and technological disadvantage. Enacting stricter regulations for the U.S., while allowing competing nations to advance under lax emissions standards, would reduce incentives for American businesses to develop responsible environmental technologies. It would also give our competitors an economic edge on the international market while simultaneously killing American jobs. We saw this previously in his negotiations with China. Under that terrible agreement, China was allowed to continue increasing their emissions through 2030, while the U.S. agreed to cut emissions. 

3. The Clean Power Plan would increase energy prices for the American taxpayer 
Energy prices are guaranteed to increase under the Clean Power Plan, and the United States Chamber of Commerce estimates that the initiative will cost American taxpayers $51 billion. That means much higher energy prices for the people of Southeastern Wisconsin. When you consider that our national debt is already at a crippling $18 trillion, the President’s plan unnecessarily puts additional financial burdens on hardworking middle class families and businesses – burdens that have increasingly become too heavy to bear – burdens that hit Wisconsin families harder than most due to the state’s reliance on coal. 

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is a bad deal for America. If we want to continue being an international leader while building our economy and protecting the hardworking taxpayers, it’s critical we oppose this failed policy and ensure the President cannot cause further damage to this country in his last months as Commander-in-Chief.