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Letter to President Obama - Administration's Attempts to Ban New Coal Fired Power Plants

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

In a letter to President Barack Obama, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined five of his Missouri Republican colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives to express their continued concerns surrounding the Obama Administration's proposed regulations, which would effectively ban the construction of new coal fired power plants.

The proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would establish unprecedented Greenhouse Gas (GHG) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for power plants. In the letter, the Missouri lawmakers called on President Obama and his administration to amend the proposed rule and utilize a technology-based approach to reduce carbon dioxide emissions -- an option that would not harm the economy or endanger the nation's electricity supply.

"If adopted, the proposed EPA rule will effectively ban new coal fired power plants from being built. By EPA's own admission, the rule as proposed would increase the cost of electricity generated from a coal plant by 80%," the Missouri Members wrote.

"Already, existing EPA regulations will prevent current sources from making upgrades to improve efficiency and allow for more generation with fewer emissions," the Members continued. "This two-pronged offense to eliminate the use of coal in this country sets us on a dangerous path as a nation, threatening our economy and killing jobs."

May 20, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

We write to express our continued concern about the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plans to issue greenhouse gas (GHG) new source performance standard regulations for new fossil fuel-based electric generating sources. The proposed rule will set an unprecedented standard under the Clean Air Act, and we urge you to consider an alternative approach to address GHG emissions in a way that will not harm our economy or endanger our electricity supply.

If adopted, the proposed EPA rule will effectively ban new coal fired power plants from being built. By EPA's own admission, the rule as proposed would increase the cost of electricity generated from a coal plant by 80%. Already, existing EPA regulations will prevent current sources from making upgrades to improve efficiency and allow for more generation with fewer emissions. This two-pronged offense to eliminate the use of coal in this country sets us on a dangerous path as a nation, threatening our economy and killing jobs.

Adding 80% to the cost of electricity would significantly hurt states like Missouri, which is heavily reliant on coal for power. Our state uses coal to power 82% of our electricity, and we enjoy some of the most reliable and affordable power in the nation.

Low-cost electricity is an engine of economic growth. The last thing families and job creators need are higher energy costs as we seek to jumpstart our economy. Further, moving toward expensive and less reliable fuels will only leave us falling behind burgeoning nations such as China and India- who are taking advantage of low-cost coal to meet their energy needs.

Our nation can continue to use coal while lowering emissions at the same time. Coal-based power generation projects are being developed across the country, using state-of-the-art technologies that are laying the foundation for advancements in power plant efficiency and reduced carbon dioxide levels. Because of these advancements in technology, the goal of near-zero emissions from coal is within sight. These advancements are allowing us to modernize the existing coal fleet, improving efficiency, reducing emissions, and continuing to produce low-cost electricity for homes, offices and factories.

We respectfully request that you urge the EPA to amend the proposed rule to exercise the option available to the agency for differentiating standards based on fuel type and to establish supercritical coal generation technology as the performance standard for new coal-based electricity. Such an amendment will create new jobs and strengthen the economy through a technology-based approach towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Sincere Regards,

Roy Blunt
United States Senator

Billy Long
Member of Congress

Sam Graves
Member of Congress

Blaine Luetkemeyer
Member of Congress

Vicky Hartzler
Member of Congress

Ann Wagner
Member of Congress


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