Support for Bill to Limit EPA Power Plant Emissions Rules

on November 21, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Coal Remains Main Source Of German Energy Supply

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has announced support for a draft bill aimed to scale back EPA’s proposed emissions rules for new power plants.

On November 11, 2013, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce wrote to Congress expressing support for a draft bill that would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to set greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants.  The Chamber highlighted that the draft bill, released by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) on October 28, would provide critical protections against EPA’s economically damaging GHG rules proposed for new and existing power plants.  The draft bill is scheduled for a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing on November 14.

EPA released its proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new power plants on September 20, setting emissions limits for future coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.  The proposed standards would require all new coal-fired power plants to install Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) systems.  Expressing its view that the Clean Air Act is inadequate to regulate GHG emissions, the Chamber asserted that the proposed EPA rules could have negative implications on most segments of the economy. The Chamber asserted that CCS is not yet commercially viable due to financial and technological barriers, so the proposed rule would effectively prevent new coal-fired power plant construction.

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Growth, Short Term Energy Outlook October 2013 (EIA)

U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Growth, Short Term Energy Outlook October 2013 (EIA)

The draft bill would prohibit EPA from issuing new legislation under section 111 of the Clean Air Act unless EPA establishes separate categories for coal-and natural gas-fired plants, sets emissions standards that have been achieved in at least six units within each category for at least one year, and creates a separate subcategory for new plants that use coal having a heat content of 8,300 btu/lb or less.  It would require EPA to submit a report to Congress, detailing the economic impact of the proposed rule and its emissions reduction projections.  It would also prohibit EPA regulations on modified, reconstructed, and existing power plants to take effect until and unless Congress explicitly authorizes an effective date for such a rule.

November 12, 2013 via Energy Solutions Forum

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