House Republicans urge EPA to withdraw proposal that sets carbon emissions limits on fossil fuel plants

Published on November 17, 2023 by Dave Kovaleski

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Several House Republicans are calling on the on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its proposal to set limits on fossil fuel plant carbon emissions.

Specifically, the proposal would set limits for new gas-fired combustion turbines, existing coal, oil and gas-fired steam generating units, and certain existing gas-fired combustion turbines.

However, Republican on the House Oversight and Environment subcommittees said the proposal sets strict, costly, and untested standards on both new and existing natural gas and remaining coal generators. They said it would have a “chilling effect” on natural gas and coal—which account for about 60 percent of U.S. electricity generation.

“Like its predecessor, the Clean Power Plan, the CPP2.0 Proposal aims to transform the nation’s electric generation, causing Americans’ utility service to be less reliable and more expensive. In this way, both the Clean Power Plan, which was stayed and later vacated by the Supreme Court, and this CPP2.0 Proposal, vastly exceed the limited authority Congress granted EPA under Clean Air Act Section 111, thereby violating the “major questions” doctrine,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan.

The letter was sent by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA), and Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) – on behalf of their Republican colleagues on those committees.

“In addition to our concerns with the legality of the EPA’s CPP2.0 Proposal, the EPA’s promulgation of proposals with misleading and defective analyses undermines public trust and creates costly regulatory and legal uncertainty that harms the orderly planning for power generation that is essential to public welfare. The plainly inaccurate discussion about CO2 pipelines adds to serious questions about the analytical quality of the proposed rule. There are myriad other defects. For example, there are widespread concerns about the accuracy of the EPA’s claim that Boundary Dam, the coal fired EGU in Saskatchewan, Canada, has been adequately demonstrated to capture 90 percent of CO2. Even though the plant’s owner filed comments that the EPA was wrong about this assertion,” they added.

The Republicans requested that Regan answer a series of questions about the proposal by Nov. 28.