US Chamber Urges Congress Block EPA’s Power Plant Rules
In a letter to Congress, the Chamber, which represents more than 3 million businesses, says the Clean Air Act is “not the appropriate vehicle to regulate greenhouse gas emissions” and warns the EPA’s GHG emissions limits for power plants will raise power prices with “negative implications extending to nearly every segment of the economy.”
The Chamber endorses draft legislation introduced last month by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) that would repeal the power plant rules already proposed and require any future GHG standards on new coal-fired power plants be achievable by “commercial power plants operating in the real world.” This would prohibit the EPA from mandating CCS until it has been employed on commercial-scale power plants. The bill would also require a federal law to set an effective date for any EPA guidelines for existing plants.
Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology, which would be required to cut new plants’ emissions, is “nowhere near commercial viability,” the Chamber’s letter says, adding that the EPA’s designation of CCS as the best system for compliance is essentially “a ban on the construction of new coal-fired power plants.”
The coal industry has also attacked the EPA’s power plant rules. National Mining Association (NMA) president and CEO Hal Quinn in September called them risky and said they will lead to higher utility bills and “significant” job loses.
Photo Credit: coal power plant image via Shutterstock
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