“Further increasing electricity costs by requiring commercially unproven technologies, or forcing a transition away from coal, will send thousands more U.S. jobs overseas at a time when the nation can least afford it,” states a Feb. 1 letter from Energy Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients.
“We are concerned that EPA may intend to propose GHG standards for new and modified coal-fired power plants that could only be achieved through the use of costly technologies such as [carbon capture and sequestration],” adds the letter, also signed by former committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), who leads the Energy subcommittee.
EPA has pushed back against GOP and industry attacks on its
plans, calling them inaccurate and arguing that it is taking measured steps to fight global warming. More broadly, EPA officials note that the Clean Air Act has a decades-long track record
of cutting pollution without harming the economy.
Legislation blocking EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases cleared the GOP-led House in 2011 but hasn’t advanced in the Senate.
While EPA plans to float the draft power plant rules soon, a top official recently declined to commit to finalizing the regulations before the 2012 elections.