Coal, Emissions

EPA questioned by Energy and Commerce Committee on coal-fired power plants

Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 17 wrote a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson seeking more information about EPA’s plans to regulate carbon emissions for new and existing coal-fired power plants. Committee members said they believe EPA’s New Source Performance Standards will serve as a backdoor energy tax on American consumers. EPA’s recently proposed rule regulating emissions for new power plants is designed to effectively ban the construction of any new coal-fired power plants in America, the committee stated.

Committee members said under EPA’s proposed rule, new coal-fired utilities would be required to install costly carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology that is not yet commercially viable.

“The practical result is a de facto ban on any new coal-fired power plants. We request information regarding these matters, and also regarding the precedent this proposed rule will set for other sectors regulated under the NSPS program,” the members wrote in the letter.

Members also requested information regarding EPA’s plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for existing power plants and other source categories regulated under the NSPS program.

“We are very concerned with the implications of these proposed and forthcoming rulemakings because in addition to supporting thousands of jobs, coal generates affordable electricity, leaving consumers more money to spend on other essential goods and services. In addition to providing consumers with an affordable, reliable supply of electricity, coal provides affordable energy for domestic manufacturing and other businesses,” the letter said.

For a full copy of the letter, click here.

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