Nov 20, 2015 - 5:15pm

There's No Love for EPA’s Carbon Rules in Congress

Senior Editor, Digital Content

Three months after EPA made its move to regulate carbon emissions from power plants, Congress started to make its countermove.

The Senate stood up for affordable, reliable electricity by rejecting EPA’s rules on a 52-46 vote. And later this month, the House of Representatives is expected to send the same message as negotiators meet in Paris for the COP21 climate change talks.

As for the Paris talks, Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy, told a Senate panel to be skeptical about any real breakthroughs.

For developing countries like China and India, “the inescapable fact is developing countries have a much greater interest in pursuing economic growth and poverty eradication than they do in reducing GHG emissions,” Eule said.

It is a simple fact that much of the energy needed to power economic growth will likely be supplied by fossil fuels. Many developing countries have large resources of coal, natural gas, and oil, and it would be unrealistic to expect them not to use it.

What’s more, even with EPA’s scheme to reconfigure America’s power system, the United States’ carbon emissions commitments don’t add up:

We estimate that in 2025 total net GHG emissions would still be about 800 million TCO2 eq., or 45%, short of the needed 1.8 billion TCO2 in reductions needed to meet the President’s 28% emissions target.

The blog post from Eule goes into detail about EPA’s carbon emissions gap.

Under EPA’s plan, Americans will pay higher electricity rates for a reduced amount of generating capacity—we’ll pay more for less.

Given all the pain EPA’s carbon regulations will impose on the U.S. economy--with little gain--it’s no surprise Congress is rejecting them.

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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.