Arlington, VA — In a significant regulatory move, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a new rule that will dramatically alter the landscape of America’s energy production, particularly impacting the coal and natural gas sectors. This rule mandates that coal power plants must install technology to capture 90% of their carbon emissions by 2032 if they intend to operate beyond 2039, a requirement that extends to new baseload natural gas power plants as well. This decision comes despite concerns over the practicality and economic implications of such technologies, which have been inadequately demonstrated on a large scale. In response, Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Representative Troy Balderson (R-OH) are set to introduce Congressional Review Act resolutions to overturn this controversial EPA rule.

Key Takeaways:

  • Immediate Impact on Coal and Natural Gas: The rule is expected to significantly reduce the role of coal in the U.S. electricity mix by 94% by 2045 and hinder new natural gas projects due to stringent carbon capture requirements.
  • Technological and Economic Concerns: The required carbon capture technology has not been proven effective at scale and is associated with high costs and operational challenges, raising questions about the viability and affordability of such systems.
  • Legal and Compliance Challenges: The rule may exceed the EPA’s statutory authority as defined by the Supreme Court in West Virginia v. EPA, setting a precedent for an unlawful expansion of regulatory power.
  • Potential Risks to Grid Reliability and Economic Growth: There are significant concerns that the rule could jeopardize grid reliability and increase electricity costs, affecting both consumers and the broader economy, especially as demand for electricity is projected to rise.

This rule represents a critical juncture for the future of energy in the United States. As such, we urge members of Congress to support the resolutions of disapproval introduced by Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson. It is essential to reevaluate the feasibility and implications of these mandates to ensure a balanced approach to environmental policy that also considers economic impacts and energy reliability. We call on all stakeholders to engage in this important legislative process to ensure that our energy policies support a sustainable and prosperous future.

Read the full letter here.

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