NTU urges all Senators to vote “YES” on S.J. Res. 23 and S.J. Res. 24, Congressional Review Act resolutions aimed at stopping harmful new fossil-fuel power plant regulations recently finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA rules target “newly constructed, modified or reconstructed” coal fired and natural gas fueled power plants under Section 111(b) and existing plants under 111(d) of the Clean Air Act with the goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Both rules would dramatically increase the cost of electricity for consumers, limit energy choices, and destroy jobs; all with practically imperceptible environmental gains.
Specifically, the Clean Power Plan rule (for existing plants under section 111(d)) constitutes a massive federal overreach in setting state-by-state reduction goals for carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production. To meet these objectives, the plan requires states to submit compliance plans to the EPA for approval. For many states, especially those with fossil-fuel intensive electricity production, this will be an extremely burdensome and costly process requiring some electricity plants to be shuttered.
The rule for new power plants is equally damaging in scope, requiring expensive new technology and more efficient generating processes to achieve emission targets. Coal-fired plants in particular will require the use of costly, unproven carbon capture and storage technology, which could raise the cost of electricity by 75 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office. The massive increase in capital costs and reduced outputs as a result of this new rule could dramatically increase the cost of electricity and imperil the commercial viability of new coal-fired plants without massive government subsidies.
Unless stopped, the EPA’s new rules could create significant economic disruptions and it is essential that Congress take action to prevent further harm.
Roll call votes on S.J. Res. 23 and S.J. Res. 24 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700