Last Friday, May 9th, the Competitive Enterprise Institute submitted a set of comments on EPA’s “Carbon Pollution Standards.” The regulation, which was proposed January 8th, would effectively ban the construction of new coal-fired power plants, by requiring the installation of carbon capture and sequestration, an exorbitantly expensive technology that isn’t yet market viable. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy concedes the rule would have no impact on global temperatures.
My colleague Marlo Lewis made the following points,
- The current proposal is a de facto fuel-switching mandate, which Congress clearly never intended.
- A leaked OMB document and environmental group analyses indicates that the real purpose of the regulation is to establish the legal predicate for suppressing existing coal power plants via carbon cap-and-trade programs.
- Public trust in government is in free fall. EPA cannot continue to steamroll through congressional gridlock and dictate climate policy without de-legitimizing itself.
And my comments included the following points:
- The Carbon Pollution Standards would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions. To be precise, a typical coal plant in compliance with EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards would emit 1.3 million more kilograms of CO2 annually.
- Carbon capture and sequestration is neither “adequately demonstrated” nor “achievable,” and is, therefore, an impermissible basis for the Carbon Pollution Standards.
Finally, in a separate comment, I collaborated with Darin R. Bartram and Justin J. Schwab, of BakerHostetler in Washington, D.C., to rebut EPA’s argument that the Carbon Pollution Standard doesn’t conflict with the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Below, I’ve posted each of the comments in full.