Outrage Over EPA Rules Continues

Since EPA proposed the new carbon dioxide emissions rules for existing power plants on June 2nd, twelve states have filed suit, arguing the new regulations are illegal under the Clean Air Act. The governors of Texas and West Virginia have demonstratively spoken out against the rules, citing their need for coal-fired power plants to provide their citizens with affordable, reliable power. And now, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission has released their own criticism.

“As currently drafted, the carbon emission rates that EPA proposes for Virginia are arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful.”

“Virginia’s compliance with the Proposed Regulation, as currently drafted, will be expensive and will be paid for by Virginia residents and businesses. Contrary to the claim that ‘rates will go up, but bills will go down’, experience and costs in Virginia make it extremely unlikely that either electric rates or bills in Virginia will go down as a result of the Proposed Regulation.”

“Additional near-term generator retirements caused by the Proposed Regulation will compound existing, unresolved reliability concerns in the Commonwealth.”

The Commission is absolutely right, on all counts. EPA’s proposed rules for existing power plants will disproportionately hurt the low-income families that need reliable, affordable energy the most, and the proposed regulations are being promoted by a misleading PR campaign designed to hide their questionable legality.Electric power lines

Power plants with enough generating capacity to reliably power 44.7 million homes–plants that have provided states like Virginia with affordable, reliable power for decades–have already or will soon be shut down as a result of the EPA’s regulations. Five of these coal-fired plants will be unnecessarily shut down in the Old Dominion by 2016, while the state is forced to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 38% by 2030. Every citizen should be outraged by EPA’s “arbitrary, capricious, and unlawful” rules, and we are glad to see the Virginia State Corporation Commission leading the way.


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