Capito, colleagues urge EPA to withdraw Clean Power Plan proposal

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) recently led 38 of her Republican colleagues in requesting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdraw its Clean Power Plan 2.0 proposal, arguing that the plan is unlawful and would exacerbate an energy shortage in the United States.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan 2.0 proposed rule, issued in May, would require most fossil fuel-fired electric power plants to cut or capture nearly all of their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Sen. Capito, in her role as ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, along with her colleagues, stated in an Aug. 1 letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan that the EPA overstepped the legal authority Congress provided it in the Clean Air Act with this new proposed rule. The senators wrote that the rule would require generation shifting and would transform the nation’s power sector without clear congressional authorization. 

The lawmakers also detailed what they perceive as flaws within the proposal, including claims about the future availability of proposed emissions control technologies, including carbon capture and sequestration and low greenhouse-gas hydrogen, that have not yet been adequately demonstrated. 

“As you know, the power plants being targeted by this rule are not only having to comply with this regulation. They are also being targeted by the agency’s overarching power plant strategy, called the Electric Generating Unit (EGU) Strategy, as a way to shutter fossil-fuel power plants and bolster President Biden’s climate goals. If the proposed Clean Power Plan 2.0 is finalized along with the rest of the EGU Strategy, our country will face a crisis in electricity supply that will dwarf the regional outages that we have seen in California, Texas, and New England in recent years,” the senators wrote.

“We request the EPA expeditiously withdraw this unlawful proposal,” concluded the letter, which was also signed by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Steve Daines (R-MT), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Jerry Moran (R-KS), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Thune (R-SD), and Todd Young (R-IN), among others.