EEI Statement On EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas New Source Performance Standards

​​Washington, DC (Friday, September 20, 2013) – EEI President Tom Kuhn issued the following statement today on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants.

“EPA’s proposed NSPS rule for new sources and its pending proposal for existing sources likely will affect the price of electricity for all Americans and our industry’s ability to enhance the electric generation fleet and grid, underscoring the vital need to get both rules right.

“The rule issued today includes several important changes from the original proposal on the natural gas standard, consistent with recommendations EEI made in comments last year. Given the growing reliance on natural gas to meet a larger share of electricity demand, it is critical for EPA to set standards for natural gas-based units that are achievable over a range of operating conditions, and we appreciate the changes.

“EEI continues to support an explicit exemption for combustion turbines, which are not efficient or economic to operate except when needed. We will closely evaluate the proposal, its potential impact and the steps that EPA has taken to ensure natural gas combined-cycle plants can comply. EPA must develop appropriate standards for both combustion turbine and combined-cycle units, and ensure that the proposed combined-cycle standard is achievable by every new unit.

“The new proposal sets a separate standard for coal-based units and requires the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which is neither adequately demonstrated nor economically feasible. As proposed, this rule would hinder efforts to develop cost-effective CCS—a critical technology for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions going forward—because it effectively prevents the building of new clean coal plants. We cannot afford to take generation sources out of the mix, as fuel diversity guards against potential supply disruptions and is key to affordable and reliable electricity.

“We look forward to continuing to work with EPA throughout the rulemaking process on the proposed rule. While the nation’s electric companies strongly support the goals of our environmental laws and are working to ensure that they are fully met, it is important that any new regulations or policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants contain achievable compliance limits, minimize costs to customers, and are consistent with the electric power industry’s investment and transition to a cleaner generation fleet and enhanced electric grid over the next decade.”

Media Contact
EEI Media Relations
Jeff Ostermayer