US Congress, Committee on Energy and Commerce
The House Energy and Commerce Committee today released a new majority staff report outlining critical issues that have been raised during the committee’s hearings and oversight of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, known as the “Clean Power Plan.” This comprehensive analysis provides a detailed description of the proposal, the legislative history of section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, information on the legal issues raised by the proposed rule, and offers examples of key testimony received by the committee.
The Energy and Power Subcommittee has been conducting aggressive oversight of EPA’s proposal since its release in June 2014, including hearings with testimony from EPA, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and state energy and environmental regulators. As a result of this oversight, the committee has as established the following five preliminary conclusions as outlined in the report:
- There are fundamental legal questions about the EPA’s authority to regulate in this area and, assuming such authority, the scope of that authority;
- EPA’s plan would transform federal and state decision-making concerning the transmission and delivery of electric power in the United States;
- Many of the key assumptions in the EPA’s proposed “building blocks” are unrealistic;
- The proposal would not be workable for potentially many states because of a host of implementation challenges; and
- The accelerated timeline for completing the rulemaking appears inadequate to respond fully to all substantive comments.