The United States has a good story to tell. Over the last decade we have seen a boom in American energy production that has been a game-changer for the U.S. economy. Private sector innovation and advanced technologies have transformed our energy landscape, given birth to an American manufacturing renaissance, and spurred the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. But there is another news story about to catch fire that threatens to change the rules of the game in a different way—the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) sweeping regulatory agenda, which stands to bring America’s energy revolution and economic recovery to a screeching halt.
EPA is moving forward with a stream of costly regulations that will significantly change the future of energy production and consumption in this country and put an end to the promise of a true “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. EPA has proposed standards for new power plants that are so extreme they would effectively eliminate coal as a source of future electricity generation in America. The rule requires the adoption of costly capture and storage (CCS) technologies that are not yet commercially viable, essentially setting a standard that is impossible to meet. No other country in the world has adopted such an extreme position.
All of America’s resources – coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables – play a critical role in keeping American electricity affordable and reliable, and a diverse energy portfolio is critical to maintaining America’s competitive advantage. But if EPA’s rule for new plants is allowed to move forward as written, American consumers and businesses will be denied the benefits afforded by coal, which provides nearly 40 percent of the nation with affordable and reliable electricity.
EPA’s proposed standard for new power plants is only the first of many greenhouse gas regulations to be proposed by the agency. Next in the queue, and perhaps the most impactful, are greenhouse gas rules for existing power plants. EPA is not stopping here. EPA is also expected to expand its authority beyond just power plants to other stationary sources like refineries, industrial boilers, cement kilns, chemical plants, paper mills, and manufacturing facilities.