|9/21/2013 12:37:00 AM|
Kinzinger comments on EPA coal rules
|President moves to limit coal-powered plant pollution|
By Dina Cappiello
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON — Linking global warming to public health, disease and extreme weather, the Obama administration pressed ahead Friday with tough requirements to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, despite protests from industry and Republicans that it would dim coal’s future.
The proposal, which would set the first national limits on heat-trapping pollution from future power plants, is intended to help reshape where Americans get electricity, moving from a coal-dependent past into a future fired by cleaner sources of energy. It’s also a key step in President Barack Obama’s global warming plans, because it would put in motion plans to end what he called “the limitless dumping of carbon pollution” from all power plants.
Under the law once the Environmental Protection Agency controls carbon at new plants, it will also control carbon at existing plants — a regulation the agency said Friday it would start work on immediately to meet a June 2014 deadline.
Yet the federal government’s own analysis of the new power plant proposal concludes that it would have a “negligible” impact on carbon dioxide emissions, pose little to no costs for the industry and provide no additional benefits to the public by 2022. That’s because it essentially locks in what was widely expected to happen anyway. Even without new federal regulations, the agency concluded that no new coal plants would have been built. Instead, the bulk of new power in this country would be supplied by natural gas, which already meets the standard announced Friday.
“The EPA ... does not anticipate this rule will have any impacts on the price of electricity, employment or labor markets or the U.S. economy,” the EPA wrote in its analysis.
The industry, and its allies in Congress, quickly dismissed that conclusion.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the agency was holding the coal industry to “impossible standards.”
“If these regulations to into effect,” he said, “American jobs will be lost, electricity prices will soar and economic uncertainty will grow.”
U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Channahon Republican running for re-election to represent La Salle, Putnam and Bureau counties, on Friday released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency announced new regulations on coal-producing facilities:
“The President has made painfully clear what his energy plan is: less domestic energy, fewer jobs, and less opportunity for Americans,” Kinzinger said. “He’s eager to enact new regulations on domestic energy producers, driving up prices for families and businesses, yet he’s been delaying the Keystone pipeline for over five years — a project that will produce thousands of jobs at no costs to taxpayers. It is vital for both our national security and economic wellbeing that America pursue a true ‘all of the above’ energy approach, and these latest regulations only move us further in the wrong direction.”
The EPA announced new limits on greenhouse gas emissions for future coal plants, and reports expect the agency to announce regulations on existing coal plants sometime next year.
According to the press release from Kinzinger’s office “experts” estimate the regulations on existing plants would affect 37,000 American jobs. On Aug. 1, the House passed the Energy Consumers Relief Act to establish greater transparency of energy-related rules and prohibit the EPA from implementing rules that would significantly affect the economy without the approval of Congress. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support, but has not been taken up by the Senate.
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