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House Discusses EPA Power Plant Regulations

This week, the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing and Critical Materials held a hearing focused on new EPA regulations that would limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new and existing coal and natural gas power plants. The proposed regulation could have industry-wide impacts, as the regulation would disincentivize the utilization of natural gas for power generation, and quell potential new investments in natural gas infrastructure and production throughout the supply chain. 

The hearing featured expert testimony from Patrick O’Loughlin, Buckeye Power Inc. and Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives; Todd Snitchler, Electric Power Supply Association; Michael J. Nasi, Jackson Walker; and Jay Duffy, Clean Air Task Force. Witnesses delved into the impacts of this proposed rule on consumers, the energy and power generation industries, and the environment. Witnesses discussed how natural gas filled the need for reliable fuels that could easily be ramped up or down to fill the changing demands of the power grids. In their testimonies, witnesses also noted that increased electrification would put heightened demands that wind and solar would not be able to reliably accommodate.

In his opening statement Subcommittee Chairman Bill Johnson (R-OH-06) discussed the timeline of implementation that is outlined in the proposed rule, as well as concerns around the feasibility of these requirements in practice.

“Similarly, natural gas-fired power generation must either, by varying dates, co-fire with 30% ‘clean hydrogen,’ or install CCS and co-fire with over 90% ‘clean’ hydrogen,” Johnson said. “Now this sounds great. Except the devil is in the details. These requirements on this timeline, experts tell us, are infeasible and technically unattainable if the grid is to remain operational.”

EPA is soliciting industry comments on this regulation through July 24, 2023. If your company is interested in participating in an Energy Workforce working group to develop formal comments in response to this proposed regulation, contact Senior Director Government Affairs Deidre Kohlrus.

Deidre Almstead Kohlrus, Senior Director Government Affairs, writes about industry-specific policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.


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