Committee Leaders Ask OMB to Withdraw EPA's Pending Greenhouse Gas Rule

February 1, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC -Committee leaders today expressed concern that President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to impose a back door energy tax though its proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, despite the rejection of cap-and-trade legislation by both Congress and the American people. EPA's proposed rule is currently undergoing White House review and is expected to be unveiled soon, threatening to impose additional energy costs on a struggling American economy. Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman Emeritus Joe Barton (R-TX), and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) today wrote to Jeffrey Zeints, Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget, to request that the proposed regulation be withdrawn, citing concerns over the harmful consequences for jobs and the economy.

The committee leaders wrote:

"In this rulemaking, EPA may be seeking to do precisely what Congress and the American public rejected in the last Congress.  The Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation from the 111th Congress would have significantly raised the cost of energy and driven jobs overseas.  With respect to electricity, it would have effectively required that U.S. coal-fired power plants use carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies that have been neither demonstrated nor deployed on a commercial scale.  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. 

"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 CCS.  Such standards would be a back door cap-and-tax regime, circumventing the will of Congress and the American people.  Affordable, reliable electricity is critical to keeping and growing jobs in the United States and the proposed Waxman-Markey legislation was rejected because it would have driven up energy prices and destroyed domestic jobs. 

To view the full letter, click here.

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