New Bill Seeks to Erase Proposed Carbon Emissions Reduction
On Thursday, March 6th the House of Representatives voted on an override to the proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule limiting carbon emissions from new coal plants.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act – HR 3826 passed the house with a primarily Republican vote (10 Democrats also voted for the bill). Essentially, the provision nullifies the new EPA rule limiting carbon emissions from coal plants, which are nearly impossible to achieve using today’s technology.
The bill’s sponsor is Rep. Ed Whitfield (R- KY). He opposes the new rule and says it will ensure a ban on new coal power plants. He explained during a debate Wednesday, “In January of next year, it is anticipated that they will finalize a rule from EPA that will make it impossible to build a new coal-powered plant in America. That is hard to believe that that can be the situation in our great country, particularly since 40 percent of our electricity comes from coal.”
Understandably, proponents of the rule to limit carbon emissions are not happy. It is seen by many as a way for power plants to get around greenhouse gas regulations and avoid implementing carbon control technologies. Without incentive or regulation to control our country’s greenhouse gas emissions, it seems logical that lower cost, polluting coal plants will continue to be constructed in lieu of more environmentally friendly technology, and that means cleaner, renewable technology will likely not advance in our country.
If this bill is successful and the EPA’s proposed carbon reduction rules become essentially null and void, the United States will be behind the times when it comes to clean energy technology. Just because we get most of our energy from coal now, doesn’t mean it should continue on that way. It is clear that clean and renewable energy is going to be more sustainable and economical in the future. Do we really want to play catch-up with our energy resources?
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