EPA publishes emissions rule to GOP's dismay

The Environmental Protection Agency published its rule limiting carbon emissions from new power plants on Wednesday to the dismay of coal advocates and the GOP.

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The proposed rule, published nearly four months after EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced it, is a core element of President Obama's climate change agenda.

Included in the new performance standards, the EPA pushes for new coal-fired power plants to be built with carbon capture technology, which Republicans argue is impossible since the technology isn't ready. McCarthy says the technology is ready and is already being used.

Following the Federal Register's release of the rule, coal advocates like the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), called it an "example of bad energy policy" due to its impossible requirements.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) blasted the EPA for publishing the regulation on the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty.

"The EPA just announced another regulation that will increase poverty in coal country," Barrasso said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Less than one day after President Obama pledged to help unemployed Americans, his administration is rolling out red tape that will destroy more jobs and increase energy costs," he said.

"In addition to contradicting current law, this new regulation will put more Americans out of work and make it even harder for people to provide for their families," Barrasso added.

On the House side, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) alleged the new rule violates provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

For power plants to meet emissions standards, they must be achievable through "adequately demonstrated" technologies, Whitfield said, adding that carbon capture technology is not ready.

"We will continue our vigorous oversight of this rulemaking, which has been fraught with irregularities, and we continue to believe that EPA is acting far beyond the scope of its legal authority," Whitfield said in a statement emailed to The Hill on Wednesday.

The GOP voiced their opposition to Obama's climate agenda throughout last year, dubbing it the war on coal. The debate surrounding climate change regulations is set to continue in 2014.