U.S. House of Representatives Takes Important Step in Curbing EPA Overreach

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 3826 “The Electricity Security and Affordability Act.” Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVA) spearheaded the legislation, which requires greater transparency for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rulemaking process and safeguards against the agency’s overzealous standards for both new and existing power plants.


“At a time of such political polarization, Representative Whitfield and Senator Manchin should be commended for their bi-partisan leadership in the fight against EPA’s costly, overreaching regulations. President Obama has made it clear that he will ‘go at it alone’ by wielding executive order without regard for Congressional input or oversight of his administration’s rulemaking process,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE. “The Electricity Security and Affordability Act ensures Congress retains its rightful role in creating policy and institutes safeguards to protect American consumers from attacks on affordable, reliable coal-fueled power.”


While H.R. 3826 focuses primarily on EPA’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS), proposed in September 2013, the bill also requires that the EPA Administrator report to Congress on the cost and other impacts of any greenhouse gas standards proposed by EPA for existing plants. Further, the bill states that regulations on existing plants shall not take effect unless Congress enacts a federal law specifying the effective date.


NSPS governs new power plants and will require on-site carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that remains costly, underdeveloped and unproven on a commercial scale. A draft of the agency’s rules for existing power plants is due in June and could cause a significant portion of the nation’s coal fleet to be shuttered.