Business Leaders Oppose Biden’s New Power Plant Rules, Which Set Lofty Climate Goals

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
May 12, 2023Business News
Business Leaders Oppose Biden’s New Power Plant Rules, Which Set Lofty Climate Goals
Steam rises from the Miller coal Power Plant in Adamsville, Ala., on April 11, 2021. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The Biden administration released its toughest-ever rules for power plants, drawing backlash from the country’s largest business organization.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce issued a statement on Thursday urging the administration to propose more reasonable carbon reduction goals for power plants to avoid disrupting the future power supply.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed power plant rules require steep pollution cuts from the U.S. power infrastructure, which uses natural gas and coal, the largest sources of the nation’s electricity generation.

“EPA’s new powerplant regulations go too far, too fast,” Marty Durbin, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute said in a statement.

“Regulations must be grounded in what is technologically feasible and commercially available. Going beyond that, as this regulation does, could threaten electric reliability and raise energy prices to unsustainable levels, harming the entire economy.”

According to EPA officials, the new standards aim to meet President Joe Biden’s 2035 target for carbon-free electricity. The draft rules mandate that most power facilities that use fossil fuels begin capturing 90 percent of their carbon by 2030 or 2035, or shut down.

“We call on EPA to reconsider its proposal by adopting a more rational approach that better balances electric reliability and affordability with carbon reduction goals,” Durbin said.

In response to the concerns expressed by the Chamber of Commerce, the White House stated that the administration is focused on reaching these goals without disturbing the economy’s momentum.

“We’re doing three things: We’re building the team, we’re getting the money out the door, and then we’re trying to tell the story. Everything requires a balance. It’s all about timing. It’s all about focus,” the White House Infrastructure Implementation Coordinator Mitch Landrieu said during the White House press briefing in response to The Epoch Times’ question about the proposal.

NTD Photo
White House Senior Adviser and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu speaks during a press briefing in Washington on May 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

“With everything that we do, somebody will say you’re going too fast. Somebody will say you’re going too slow. Our job is to try to get it just right. And to make sure that this economic boom that will happen is steady and stable and that we continue to grow.”

Fossil fuels are still the primary source of energy for electricity generation in the United States. About 20 percent of U.S. electricity comes from coal and 40 percent comes from natural gas. The rest is generated by nuclear power plants and renewable sources like solar, wind, and hydropower.

Ahead of the EPA’s announcement, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) criticized the administration’s proposal and its “radical climate agenda.”

“I fear that this administration’s commitment to their extreme ideology overshadows their responsibility to ensure long-lasting energy and economic security, and I will oppose all EPA nominees until they halt their government overreach,” Manchin said in a May 10 statement.

Biden called the plan “a major step forward in the climate crisis and protecting public health.”

Some environmental groups also praised EPA’s action stating that it would benefit the climate, the environment, and the communities around the country.

“EPA’s proposal to limit climate pollution from power plants is an urgently needed step toward protecting people from the devastating harms of climate change, from increasingly severe flooding, hurricanes and drought to worsening wildfires,” Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, said in a statement.

Nathan Worcester contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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