Chamber analysis highlights flaws with EPA powerplant proposal

A new analysis by the U.S. Chamber’s Global Energy Institute finds significant flaws with the methodology used in EPA’s new carbon pollution standards for coal and natural gas-fired power plants.

“The Chamber strongly supports a low carbon transition and has been among the biggest supporters of investments in research, development and deployment of advanced nuclear, renewables, carbon capture and sequestration, and a host of other technologies,” said Dan Byers, Vice President of Climate and Technology at the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “However, effective and durable emissions policies must be based on transparent and realistic analysis of potential regulatory impacts. EPA should work to prepare such an analysis by addressing the shortcomings we’ve identified before moving forward with any rulemaking.”

Coal and natural gas today make up about 60% of America’s electricity production. The Chamber analysis reveals major flaws in the Regulatory Impact Analysis of the new powerplant standards, which provides analysis of the costs and benefits underpinning EPA’s claims of societal gains with minimal costs. These serious shortcomings in the analysis undercut the rule and reveal that the cost-benefit calculations are deeply flawed.

“Given the essential role that affordable and reliable electricity plays in every aspect of our lives, this rule has the potential to be among the most impactful proposals from the Biden Administration,” said Heath Knakmuhs, Vice President and Policy Counsel for the Chamber’s Global Energy Institute. “Our analysis demonstrates that EPA’s assumptions are unrealistic and fail to take into account our broken permitting process and the Administration’s own push for electrification, which will have a material impact on electricity supply and demand.”

The new analysis found:

  1. Unrealistic claims of massive emissions reductions occurring in the absence of the new rule, which leads to significantly suppressed cost projections.
  2. Omissions of materially increased electricity demand from other EPA rulemakings, which will place greater stress on the power grid.
  3. Modeling outputs and real-world data that call into question the deployment timelines of carbon capture and sequestration, which is the technology that EPA is relying on as the centerpiece for industry compliance with the rule.


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