WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO), pictured, blasted the Obama Administration’s announcement today that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will require future coal-burning plants to curb or capture at least 40 percent of their carbon emissions – which could result in higher energy costs for families and job creators in Missouri and nationwide.
“Once again, President Obama is waging war on affordable energy for families and small businesses in states like Missouri,” said Blunt. “Nearly 40 million American families earning less than $30,000 a year spend almost 20 percent of their budgets on energy costs. By preventing the construction of new high efficiency coal plants, the Obama Administration is punishing our nation’s most vulnerable families who are hurt the most by higher utility bills.”
Yesterday, Blunt spoke on the Senate floor about a bipartisan amendment that he introduced with U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) requiring the EPA to amend their rule to establish New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) using emission rates based individually for each type of fuel and based on technology that is commercially available.
Blunt is also co-sponsoring a resolution of disapproval filed by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to stop the EPA from imposing its new regulation by ensuring a vote to repeal it. The CRA provides a procedure for expedited consideration in the Senate.
In March 2013, Blunt introduced an amendment to the FY14 Budget to prevent carbon tax. In May 2013, Blunt joined several of his Missouri colleagues in a letter expressing their continued concerns surrounding the Obama Administration’s proposed rule, which would effectively ban the construction of new coal fired power plants.
In June 2013, Blunt also joined several of his Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expressing concern regarding the Administration’s updated estimate for the social cost of carbon.
In March of 2012, EPA issued a proposal to establish NSPS for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, setting output based emissions limits for new fossil fuel plants. The proposed rule garnered over two million comments and took an approach that is a significant departure from the longstanding practice to establish NSPS individually for each type of fuel.
In the rule, EPA states that a coal power plant equipped with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could meet the standard, which is a promising but not adequately demonstrated technology. EPA even admits that “today’s CCS technologies would add around 80% to the cost of electricity for a new pulverized coal (PC) plant, and around 35% to the cost of electricity for a new advanced gasification-based (IGCC) plant.”
Editor's note: For an EPA response go here.