Texans in Congress challenge new EPA rules on power plant emissions
A bipartisan group of 29 Texans in Congress sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy Wednesday opposing the agency’s planned regulation of carbon dioxide from existing power plants.
The May 22 letter, headed by Republican Joe Barton, argues that climate change policy should be directed by Congress and questions the legality of EPA move to regulate carbon emissions.
“Texas leads the nation in population growth and electricity demand,” the letter says. “With a robust manufacturing base, and as the leading producer of oil, gas and petrochemical products, our state is an economic engine for the entire nation. Texas has been able to take this leading role in large part due to the availability of reliable and affordable electricity generated by fossil-fuels such as coal, lignite, and petroleum coke. Given such growth and potential, EPA should recognize that Texans require an all-of-the-above approach to power generation, not one that will raise the cost of electricity by selectively eliminating certain types of fossil fuels. Affordable and reliable energy is essential to future growth.”
A complete copy of the letter can be found here.
Backers of the proposed rules say that power plants produce one-third of the nation’s greenhouse gasses and that the EPA action represents the government’s first attempt to control those sources. They also argue that the new regulations provide states with the needed flexibility to reduce air pollution economically, while also providing an impetus for alternative energy sources.
Among the Democrats signing on to the letter were Reps. Henry Cuellar, Pete Gallego, Gene Green, Filemon Vela and Sheila Jackson Lee.
The Republicans joining Barton were Reps. Kevin Brady, Michael Burgess, John Carter, Mike Conaway, John Culberson, Blake Farenthold, Bill Flores, Louie Gohmert, Kay Granger, Ralph Hall, Jeb Hensarling, Sam Johnson, Kenny Marchant, Michael McCaul, Randy Neugebaeur, Pete Olson, Ted Poe, Pete Sessions, Lamar Smith, Steve Stockman, Mac Thornberry, Randy Weber, and Roger