Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today unveiled draft legislation to address Environmental Protection Agency rules affecting electricity generation. The bipartisan legislation will ensure America can maintain a diverse and affordable electricity portfolio, which includes the use of coal, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables. Whitfield has been working closely with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) who will spearhead the legislation in the U.S. Senate.
The legislation provides direction to the EPA regarding the development of the agency's planned new rules for power plants and will allow the country to maintain a true "all of the above" energy strategy. It would require that any greenhouse gas standards set by EPA for new coal-fired plants are able to be achieved by commercial power plants operating in the real world, including highly efficient plants that utilize the most modern, state-of-the-art emissions control technologies. The legislation also requires a federal law to set an effective date for EPA's expected standards or guidelines for existing plants and instructs EPA to report to Congress on their economic consequences and whether there will be any meaningful impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. The draft bill would also repeal previous greenhouse gas power plant rules proposed by EPA.
"EPA's extreme regulations are threatening our nation's energy future, our economy, and countless American jobs. These regulations are being done by a group of regulators without any public discussion or debate, and the purpose of this legislation is to ensure that we have a national discussion about the use of coal," said Whitfield. "The agency's proposed standard for new power plants will make America the only country in the world where you cannot build a coal-fired power plant in America because the technologies required to meet those standards are not commercially viable. The agency's rule for existing plants is also likely to shut down even more plants across the country. This bipartisan, bicameral solution will prevent unworkable regulations that threaten to limit America's power portfolio and make energy more expensive. A true "all of the above' energy strategy is critical to maintaining access for American consumers and households to affordable and reliable electricity and ensuring American companies can compete globally."
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) lent his support to the legislation, stating, "America's energy abundance offers great benefits to our economy and job creation. The availability of affordable and reliable energy is helping to revitalize America's manufacturing industry, and we have heard testimony that companies are bringing jobs and investment back to America. This important legislation will ensure costly regulations do not raise energy prices and threaten this renaissance, and I look forward to moving the bill though the committee and to the floor."