Committee Launches Investigation into EPA’s Proposed Standards for New Power Plants that Threaten Affordable Energy and Jobs

March 12, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC –The House Energy and Commerce Committee is launching an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision-making process relating to the agency’s consideration of carbon capture technologies in developing greenhouse gas emissions standards for new power plants. Republican leaders on the committee today wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy requesting documents and information to examine whether EPA complied with the law when it developed its proposals for new power plant standards.

The committee first raised concerns to EPA over the legality of the EPA’s proposed rule on November 15, 2013, when committee leaders wrote to McCarthy requesting that it be withdrawn citing provisions under the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which expressly limits EPA’s consideration of certain government-funded CCS projects when setting emissions standards under the Clean Air Act. EPA published the proposed rule in the Federal Register in January.

In today’s letter to McCarthy, the members wrote, “We continue to have questions about EPA decisions concerning (a) agency consideration of CCS technologies, and the information derived from use of these technologies, at facilities that have been receiving federal funding or tax credits authorized by the Energy Policy Act of 2005; (b) EPA’s reliance on these federally supported facilities and technologies for the purpose of proposing emissions performance standards under section 111 of the Clean Air Act; and (c) information from the Department of Energy and other agencies relating to EPA’s consideration of these facilities and technologies for the purposes of standard-setting. 

“At this time, we seek information to evaluate EPA’s adherence to statutory obligations and responsibilities, including adherence to the relevant statutory prohibitions relating to the consideration of certain facilities and technologies receiving federal assistance under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.” The committee leaders are requesting responses and documents by March 28, 2014.

The letter was signed by full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA), Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), Vice Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), and full committee Vice Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

To read a full copy of the letter, click HERE.

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