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Hearing of the Energy Subcommittee and the Environment Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee - Science of Capture and Storage: Understanding EPA's Carbon Rules


Location: Washington, DC

Chairman Lummis: Thank you Chairman Schweikert. I want to congratulate you on your new position on the committee and look forward to continuing our work through environment and energy subcommittee joint hearings this year.

Last fall, the Science Committee held a similar hearing on the status of technology for Carbon Capture and Storage. It was confirmed that CCS is not operating in any commercial scale power plant in the U.S. and thus should not be considered adequately demonstrated technology under EPA's New Source Performance Standards (NSPS).

Today we will also discuss the transportation and storage of captured carbon and what viable solutions currently exist for industry. I look forward to hearing from the EPA witness on the storage options under the proposed NSPS. Is recycling carbon in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) possible on a large scale or will untested long-term geological sequestration be needed?

The EPA has implied that the rule does not need to speak to the issue of sequestration -- that the cost and feasibly of carbon storage is outside the scope of their rulemaking. Staying silent on the last steps of the process proves the lack of demonstrated commercial viability.

Instead of focusing or real solutions, the EPA assumes "this proposed rule will result in negligible CO2 emissions changes, quantified benefits, and costs by 2022." Since it effectively bans the building of new coal plants, it has no impact.

The EPA is ignoring the consequences of their rulemaking to instead set a legal precedent for mandating unproven technologies. They need to go back and assess the impacts of this rule on non-air issues -- there is no science behind the "de facto" mandated storage requirement.

This is a policy of picking winners and losers through environmental regulations. New natural gas fired units, boilers and heaters and existing plant standards are next. We need to see an all-of-the-above energy policy, not one based purely on politics.

I look forward to hearing from this first panel of witnesses on the larger effects of this rulemaking to the energy supply chain -- from research to delivery. Thank you for joining us.

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