EPA’s Utility NSPS Seeks to Dictate Nation’s Energy Policy

May 12, 2014

(Washington) – The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed comments Friday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Utility New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from New Electric Utility Generating Units.


The rule, which would establish new regulations designed to address greenhouse gases from stationary sources, represents a dramatic, unprecedented, and unauthorized change and puts EPA in the position to dictate energy policy, as opposed to its intended purpose of creating environmental policy. If enacted, the rule essentially would mandate the types of fuels used for electric generating units constructed in the future and will have long-term negative implications for our nation’s energy and environmental policy.


“The EPA is not only regulating emissions, it is now involving itself in setting an energy policy that does not support an all-of-the-above approach to our nation’s energy needs,” said Charles T. Drevna. “Mandating the use of specific energy sources will only serve to drive up U.S. manufacturers’ costs. Our nation is on the verge of a manufacturing renaissance, but this and other all-cost, little-to-no-benefit rules will threaten our tremendous opportunity, erode our competitive advantage and drive business overseas.”


AFPM comments center on the fact that EPA expressly ignored the intent of Congress to prohibit the Agency from considering federally funded demonstration projects from serving as the basis for any emission limitation standards of performance. When establishing a NSPS EPA is required to set performance standards that are achievable, cost-effective, and based on technologies that are “adequately demonstrated” in practice.  In this proposed rule, EPA established the performance standards on technologies that do not meet the requirements and are not feasible. Furthermore, they are not consistent with the Clean Air Act.


Drevna continued, “EPA’s reliance on projects that did not meet the minimum requirements to set standards of performance for GHG emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants is unlawful, and EPA should immediately withdraw the proposed rule.”


Electricity costs are usually the second highest cost for American fuel and petrochemical manufacturers, behind the cost for crude oil and natural gas.  Dramatic increases in electricity costs threaten the ability of AFPM members to produce affordable transportation fuels and chemicals that are the basis for everything from cell phones to seat belts and medicine.