Blogs - Blogs
EPA’s Power Plants Rule
Despite the obvious problems, they did it anyway…
September 20, 2013

Today, the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) proposed a White House-approved rule that limits greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants and requires adoption of a cost-prohibitive carbon control technology that is unavailable at a commercial scale. The EPA proposal marks the first step of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, which tasks his Administration to pursue bureaucratic avenues to obstruct this nation's energy independence, and increase energy prices, which hits low-income families hardest.

Today's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) require new coal fired power plants to install carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology in order to meet GHG emissions reductions, which effectively prohibits new coal fired plants from being built. CCS has yet to be demonstrated on a commercial scale and faces a number of additional barriers: In 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that commercial deployment of CCS was possible in 10 to 15 years, contingent upon overcoming economic, technical, and legal challenges that have yet to be met.

Earlier this week, U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), lead seven Senators in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, regarding the Agency's involvement in the development and ultimate use of the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) estimates in current and upcoming energy-related rules. The EPA's social cost of carbon estimates will be the nexus of the administration's regulatory agenda for greenhouse gases (GHG)... and these regulations won't stop at coal.
The EPA has persevered with targeting GHG emissions through excessively restrictive regulations, and they have set a dangerous precedent by failing to base the achievement of the standards on reliable technology.

The EPA is moving forward - full speed ahead despite the following concerns:

Economic Impacts & the Public's Concern

Despite the negative consequences for jobs and the economy anticipated from these regulations
• Despite there being no support for such regulatory actions even in the Democrat controlled Senate
• Despite one poll, after poll, after poll showing that global warming is one of the issues of least concern, the EPA instead takes a course of action that will hinder the top concern, which, for most Americans is the economy

International Carbon Regulations & Their Effects

• Despite countries that have adopted similar regulations having severe negative economic impacts

o Germany's aggressive and reckless energy policies are increasing the already-highest electricity prices in Europe
o The damaging effects of Spain's "green economy" policies did not stop President Obama from saying it was what he envisioned for America.
o In the UK, electricity prices forced pensioners to burn books to keep warm during the winter

• Despite Australia running from a carbon tax after horrendous economic impacts

Predictions & Models vs. Reality

• Despite EPA failing to meet their own scientific standards when creating the justification for GHG regulations
• Despite evidence that nearly every single climate model relied upon by the scientific community was wrong
• Despite faith in climate models continuing to decline and the vast majority of catastrophic predictions over the last 30 years regarding everything from extreme weather events to sea level rise being wrong
• Despite pressure to defend the failed predictions and further claims of government shenanigans in the "science"

Despite all this, EPA did it anyway.

It remains important to remember the U.S. Supreme Court gave EPA the choice, and EPA chose to regulate. And unfortunately, EPA has so manipulated the Clean Air Act that they are actually for the first time mandating a best system of emissions reduction for power plants that is wholly unproven, costly, and expected to increase rates.

Today, only 47% of Americans have a full time job, the workforce participation rate is at its lowest level since the Carter Administration, and the national unemployment rate has exceeded 7.5% for the longest period since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking it. More people are giving up on jobs, a growing number of college graduates are struggling to find a job, and countries that have adopted similar programs to what the Obama-EPA plans on imposing on the American people have found their youth being similarly crushed. EPW Republicans believe this new rule will further exacerbate these statistics.

Sen. Vitter (R-La.) made a statement on EPA's NSPS proposal earlier today. Click here to read more.

EPW Republicans recently released a report, "Critical Thinking on Climate Change: Questions to Consider Before Taking Regulatory Action and Implementing Economic Policies." Click here to read the report.



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