WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released new rules today to regulate greenhouse gas emissions for new power plants:
"We all support a clean environment—but this new proposal is an extreme overreach that will increase unemployment and energy bills for Americans.
“While the EPA says this plan will improve public health, we know that the major costs outweigh the small benefits. It’s clear that it will shut down coal plants and devastate communities across the country. When Americans lose their jobs, their health and their families suffer for years. Sacrificing more and more coal jobs as an offering to environmental extremists, for what they admit will have no impact on the climate, is politics at its worst.
“Coal is America’s most affordable, reliable and secure source of energy—and the new EPA red tape will effectively regulate it out of existence. Eliminating coal from our nation’s energy mix will not only cost Americans good paying jobs, it will increase energy costs for seniors, small businesses and low-income families. “It’s time for the President to stop focusing on bankrupting America’s coal industry, and refocus on embracing all of America’s abundant and affordable energy sources. He can start by ending his ‘war on fossil fuels’ and immediately approving the Keystone XL pipeline.”
The new rules proposed by the EPA will require new coal-fired plants to limit emissions of carbon dioxide to 1,100 pounds per megawatt-hour of electricity. The rule sets a threshold of 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour for new natural gas plants.
The only way new plants could meet the EPA’s new standards is by installing costly carbon capture and sequestration technology—a technology that is arguably not currently economically or commercially viable.
In January 2008, Presidential-candidate Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”