Energy & Environment

White House adviser: Chamber ‘wrong again’ on climate rule

White House adviser John Podesta slammed a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report Wednesday that claimed the administration’s coming climate rule on power plants would cost more than $50 billion per year.

“I’m old enough to know what a broken record actually sounds like. @USChamber wrong before, wrong again on pollution,” Podesta tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

{mosads}The Chamber report comes days before the administration is expected to unveil the first carbon emissions limits for existing power plants, a key pillar of President Obama’s climate legacy and what many are deeming the strongest show of force yet by the White House on climate change.

The report also found that the forthcoming standards could shrink the nation’s coal-fired energy capabilities by a third, as plants will be unable to comply with the rule. It adds that roughly 224,000 jobs would be lost annually through 2030 as well.

Podesta wasn’t alone in his frustration with the report.

The Environmental Protection Agency put out a blog post of its own to “set the record straight,” a stronger move than normal for the agency.

Associate administrator for external affairs Tom Reynolds railed against the report, which he said was filled with “unfounded assumptions.”

“The Chamber’s report is nothing more than irresponsible speculation based on guesses of what our draft proposal will be,” Reynolds wrote. “Just to be clear — it’s not out yet. I strongly suggest that folks read the proposal before they cry the sky is falling.”

Reynolds added that before the EPA “put pen to paper” for its proposed rule it gathered an “unprecedented” amount of input, and went through “hundreds of meeting with hundreds of groups — including the Chamber.”

And after the release of the rule on June 2, Reynolds said, the EPA will begin another round of engagement.

The blog post goes on to refute parts of the Chamber report.

In its 66-page report, the Chamber concludes that states will be required to use carbon capture and sequestration to reach the carbon emissions reduction targets set by the EPA, an assertion Reynolds says isn’t true.

“Unfortunately, the Chamber is using the same tired play from the same special interest playbook that is engineered to continue polluting and stall progress. But the American people know better,” Reynolds wrote.

The Chamber report, and the strong rhetoric in return from the administration, could be a clear sign of what’s to come after the EPA announces the rule next week.  

Tags carbon emissions Climate change Environmental Protection Agency John Podesta

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