Letter of Support: H.R. 6172 to Block EPA's Crippling Power Plant Rule

September 12, 2012 J

Dear Representative David McKinley:

On behalf of more than two million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I am writing in support of your bill, H.R. 6172, which would stop the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from finalizing performance standards under section 111 of the Clean Air Act for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal and natural gas-fired power plants unless and until carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is technologically and economically viable.

In March of this year, the EPA proposed “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,” mandating that no natural gas or coal-fired power plant emit more than 1,000 lbs of CO2 per megawatt-hour (MWh). The average coal plant emits an average of 1,800 lbs of CO2/MWh, while the average natural gas-fired plant emits only 800 lbs of CO2/MWh. EPA set the performance standard for the rule in such a way that only coal-fired power plants would be affected.

Section 111 requires the EPA to identify a best available control technology that regulated sources can adopt in order to comply with emission limits. In this case, EPA identified CCS, which is not economically viable and does not meet the statutory requirement that it be “adequately demonstrated.”

At a cost of approximately $1 billion, retrofitting a single coal-fired power plant with CCS technology is prohibitively expensive. The Department of Energy admits the technology could raise the cost of electricity generation by as much as 80%.  This cost will necessarily be passed on to consumers in the form of higher electricity rates. Considering how uneconomical it is to install CCS technology, if the rule is finalized, it is highly unlikely that we will see the construction of new coal plants.

Individuals all across this country, from electric utility consumers to coal miners, understand the importance of coal in our lives. Coal plants provide thousands of jobs, while at the same time providing us with one of the most affordable and dependable forms of electricity we can generate. Americans for Prosperity is proud to support H.R. 6172. I urge your colleagues to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.


James Valvo
Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

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