Whitfield, Manchin float proposal to block EPA actions on power plant emissions
Originally published October 31, 2013
A draft bill released on Oct. 28 by a U.S. senator and the head of the House subcommittee on power seeks to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from setting new carbon emissions standards for existing power plants unless Congress passes legislation setting a date for the standards to take effect.
The proposal was floated by Rep. Ed Whitfield, the Kentucky Republican who chairs the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, and Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia. It could win passage in the House, but has almost no chance of being passed in the Senate.
The proposal, called the Whitfield-Manchin Discussion Draft, says any rule establishing greenhouse gas standards for new plants may not be issued unless the EPA administrator: 1) establishes separate standards for natural gas-fired and coal-fired plants; 2) sets standards for the coal category that have been achieved over a one-year period by at least six units located at different commercial power plants in the United States; and 3) establishes a subcategory for coal-fired plants that use lignite coal and sets standards that have been achieved over a one-year period by at least three units located at different U.S. commercial power plants.
The discussion draft also would repeal the EPA's proposed New Source Performance Standards setting carbon limits for new power plants. In addition, it would require the EPA administrator to send a report to Congress regarding any proposed rules the agency issues on greenhouse gas standards, discussing their economic impacts and their projected effects on global greenhouse gas emissions.
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