Murkowski, Upton, Whitfield urge deeper look at EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Following a report that the EPA’s Clean Power Plan could threaten the reliability of the nation’s electrical grid,  Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to get involved.

The three ranking Republican lawmakers sent a letter on Monday asking FERC chairman Cheryl LaFeur to share information about any consultation between the two agencies and requested that FERC put together a conference to discuss the environmental regulations.

In early November, the North American Electric Reliability Corp. said its review of the reliability impacts on the proposed Clean Power Plan showed that taking coal-powered plants off the grid would result in more lost power than current reserves could replace. It suggested that without adequate alternatives, the EPA might need to push back its compliance deadlines.

“Recent reports have raised significant concerns over the reliability impacts of EPA’s Clean Power Plan and other rules as to whether our grid can sustain the president’s proposed electricity sector overhaul,” Whitfield said. “We can’t afford to play a guessing game when it comes to reliability, and we need to be assured that EPA won’t simply leave Americans in the dark.”

Upton said the Clean Power Plan is an example of the Obama Administration continuing to “regulate too much too fast without proper consideration of the consequences for American consumers.”

Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Upton the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Whitfield the chairman of its Energy and Power Subcommittee.