Whitfield, Manchin plan seeks go-slow approach on CO2 rules for coal plants

A bill being developed by two coal state lawmakers, a Senate Democrat and a House Republican, seeks to ensure that new greenhouse gas (GHG) rules for power plants don’t require technology that isn’t yet “commercially feasible.”

House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) announced their draft legislation Oct. 28.

The draft bill would effective require that carbon dioxide regulation would not be imposed before CO2 control technology has been actively deployed at several domestic coal plants.

A “discussion draft” of the bill was posted on the Whitfield website. It currently lacks a title and a bill number.

The bill would stipulate that that any Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) standard for new plants is not issued unless EPA sets standards for coal plants that have actually been achieved over a one-year period by at least six units at different commercial power plants in the United States.

The bill would also set up a subcategory for plants that burn lignite coal.

The bill would also demand a report to Congress regarding the economic implications of any proposed rule.

The draft bill was announced just as the House Energy Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations was preparing to hold an Oct. 29 hearing on the perspective of coal communities.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.