Bond: EPA Rule Would Effectively Ban Coal

Posted July 30, 2012 at 11:48am

Earlier this month, tea party groups representing millions of Americans urged Congress to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s new greenhouse gas emissions regulation for power plants.

Last month’s federal court decision upholding parts of the EPA’s global warming regulatory agenda make these grass-roots groups’ actions even more timely and the stakes higher.

Currently, coal accounts for about 50 percent of our nation’s electricity, and in many Midwestern states such as Missouri, roughly 80 percent. Despite facts like these, the EPA’s development of New Source Performance Standards would result in a ban on coal.

Under this proposed rule, the EPA abandoned agency precedent recognizing differences between fuel types, requiring instead that all new fossil-fuel-generating facilities meet the same emissions limit.

With a wink and a nod, the EPA unabashedly ignores the fact that currently this emissions limit can be met by only one fuel — natural gas. After all, there is currently no demonstrated, commercially available carbon capture and storage technology that can be installed on a coal plant to satisfy this standard.

In effect, through this one rule alone, not to mention the scores of other damaging regulations the agency has proposed, the EPA is forcing the abandonment of coal, one of America’s most abundant natural resources.

As Americans we can agree that cleaner energy and protecting the environment are important goals. But so, too, is reliable and affordable energy Americans need to run their businesses, cool their homes and offices, and power their computers; so too is moving America toward energy self-sufficiency and diversity as demand continues to skyrocket; and so too is protecting our still-fragile economy and the jobs of hardworking Americans in coal-dependent states.

Regardless of your political stripe, it is critical that Americans educate themselves about this rule and join grass-roots groups to speak out in opposition before unelected bureaucrats in Washington succeed in jeopardizing America’s energy and economic future.

A former Republican Senator from Missouri, Kit Bond was a senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. After leaving the Senate, he formed Kit Bond Strategies, where he advises a wide range of clients, some of which have interests in the energy sector.