Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed Existing Source Performance Standards for carbon dioxide emissions produced by fossil fuel power plants.
“There is no doubt that seven billion people have had an impact on our world’s climate; however, the proposed EPA rule does little to address the global problem with global solutions. Instead, today’s rule appears to be more about desirability rather than reliability or feasibility, with little regard for rising consumer prices, the effects on jobs and the impact on the reliability of our electric grid. The President’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that coal will continue to provide nearly a third of our electricity through 2040, but the rule seems to ignore that reality.
“The EPA has proposed rules that are not based on any existing technology that has been proven on a commercial scale. That is why we must continue to invest in innovative technologies, including clean coal and natural gas technologies, to ensure our energy supply remains accessible, affordable and reliable for all Americans. Our great country should be a leader in developing the technologies so that we can export them to the world, but it is unreasonable to require the use of technologies that do not yet work at the commercial scale.
“Fossil fuel energy is vital to our nation’s economy and security. It will be a resource that our country depends on as we move forward - the EIA estimates that around 80 percent of our electricity will still come from fossil fuels more than twenty years from now. We must lead the world toward the time when fossil fuels burn cleaner until they can eventually provide minimal or no emissions at all. The world consumes more than 8 billion tons of coal per year, while the U.S. and Europe each burn less than one billion tons per year. The U.S. has already been a leader in proving to the world that we can produce coal cleaner today. Utilities and their providers have already reduced carbon emissions by 23 percent compared to 2005 levels, and are projected to reduce carbon emissions by an additional 15 percent by 2020. With the right policies and the right coordination between the public and private sectors, we can go much further.
“I have said again and again that government needs to work as an ally, not as an adversary, when it comes to developing our nation’s energy policies. I stand ready to work with this Administration and the EPA to develop commonsense solutions that strike a balance between a prosperous economy and a cleaner environment.”