“Your advocacy of these rules is rooted neither in concern for public health nor for the environment, but in rent seeking,” said the congressional letter. “These rules will confer on your companies—which predominantly generate electricity from natural gas and nuclear power—a competitive advantage in the marketplace at the expense of consumers.”

The congressmen, led by Ohio Reps. Jean Schmidt and Steve Chabot, refuted CEG claims that rules such as the Utility MACT and the Cross State Air Pollution rule carry minimal economic impacts and questioned CEG assertions that utilities have long anticipated the rules anyway. “The utility industry did know these rules were coming, in the same way one knows death is coming,” said the congressmen. But still unknowable, they said, is the “timing, content and context” of the rules. Nor is the CEG correct in dismissing fears of grid reliability. Those fears have been substantiated by private analysts and federal regulators, said the letter.

In related action, Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused administration witnesses of killing jobs by promoting “clean energy” projects at the expense of fossil fuel employment. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told Department of Labor Secretary Linda Solis that her administration has waged “systematic war” against fossil energy while aggressively pushing clean energy, often with reckless indifference to the consequences to job growth or taxpayer-supported subsidies.

Some members accused the administration of padding green job figures by defining them broadly as all jobs “that help to preserve or restore the environment or conserve natural resources.” Secretary Solis defended the administration by arguing green jobs were not limited to wind and solar projects, but also included the bus drivers of “energy-efficient mass transit” vehicles, for example. “That’s offensive,” replied Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.). “It’s only a green job if it fits your sales pitch.”