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Law and the Environment

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  2. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): Reports
  3. Report: No ‘train wreck’ from EPA utility rules | TheHill

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Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA): Reports

The Task Force works with over public and private sector members to develop model best practices legislation on issues like climate change, agriculture, environ- mental health, regulatory reform, federalism, chemical regulation, property rights, waste management, and public lands. Clint Woods is the Task Force Director and can be reached at cwoods alec.

Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of , no part of this publication may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior permission of the publisher. Eighty-five percent of American energy is produced from fossil fuels; about 50 percent of American electricity comes from coal.

America is the Saudi Arabia of coal; it is by far our most abun- dant domestic source of energy. The fact that the nation uses so much coal reflects its low cost, ready availability, and proven effectiveness as a stable and reliable fuel. Yet despite the fact that emissions from the use of coal have sharply de- clined over the last several decades and will continue to decline with the introduction of new clean and green-coal technologies, EPA wants to re- move coal completely from the equation. We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of compre- hensive omnibus legislation.

The Regulatory Train Wreck Reflecting its government-knows-best attitude, EPA is developing and final- izing nearly 30 major regulations and more than major policy rules. The images contained in Chapter 1 illustrate that there is nothing orderly or reasonable about this approach; this regulatory assault entails overlap- ping mandates, unattainable deadlines, and uncertainties that combine to threaten economic recovery, state sovereignty, and the very basis of our market-based affordable energy system.

As anyone familiar with the im- plementation of the Clean Air Act over the last forty years will tell you, the low-hanging environmental fruit have been picked, and these additional pollution rules are likely to exponentially increase costs with minimal clean air and water benefits. No Cost Too Much What will all of this regulation cost?

Despite pleas from a broad cross-section of busi- ness, EPA has refused to undertake a study of the effect of its greenhouse gas regulatory initiatives on jobs, the economy and business competitive- ness. It has similarly failed to conduct a study of the overall, cumulative cost of all of its regulations together. Others have been forced to weigh in on what that cost will be; as discussed in the report, that cost is enormous.

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It is not, though, simply a matter of the scope of these regulations that constitutes a train wreck. EPA was determined to have greenhouse gas regulation in place by the beginning of this year in order to create a fait accompli for the incoming Congress. As a result, the end of saw an unprecedented flurry of last-minute rulemaking. EPA pro- mulgated no less than 11 greenhouse gas regulations in , 7 of them in December, and 6 of them totaling more than pages were issued on the eve of the Christmas holiday and did not get published in the Federal Register until the last two business days of And what EPA did to states to get this program implemented by the begin- ning of is nothing short of unconscionable.

But the Agency gave states only a few months to make the needed law chang- es. Some states did not make it; as of January 2, , EPA imposed a federal implementation plan on 8 states that did not act quickly enough. That is simply not the case. The report details a number of others. They are able to develop solutions for pollution problems that require special understanding of local indus- tries, geography, housing, and travel patterns, as well as other factors… The states must involve the public and industries through hearings and opportunities to comment on the development of each state plan.

More and More Regulation While this report focuses on EPA rulemakings that primarily target the use of coal as a particular case study, it is worth noting that this regulatory on- slaught is also underfoot in a variety of other fields. For example, having finalized greenhouse gas emission restrictions under the Clean Air Act for through model-year passenger vehicles and light trucks in April , the Agency has already proposed the first-ever GHG standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and is also in the process of developing additional light-duty vehicle standards for model-years to EPA also has under consideration greenhouse gas rules covering almost every sector of the economy, from cars and trucks to ships, boats and airplanes, to mining and agriculture, to all types of manufacturing and industrial fa- cilities, to movable equipment of every kind from fork lifts to lawnmow- ers , and to residential and commercial buildings.

Beyond greenhouse gases, EPA has considered or is in the process of taking up additional regulation of numerous products, emissions, and activities, including: hydraulic fracturing; the widely-used herbicide atrazine; formal- dehyde emissions from pressed wood products; lead wheel weights; wa- ter nutrients in Florida; lead bullets and tackle; pesticide spray drift; dust; Portland cement; and Bisphenol A.

What Can State Legislators Do? Given all of this EPA regulatory activity, now is an essential time for con- cerned state legislators to stand athwart a train wreck, and yell Stop. The first half and indeed the first few months of could prove decisive, as EPA moves to implement as much of its regulatory agenda as possible before it can be stopped. In the first part of , Congress appears set to consider, both through more extensive EPA oversight and legislative ve- hicles like the Congressional Review Act, ways to limit EPA authority.

What then can state legislators do to stop the train wreck? As unemployment hovers around nine percent, it is the duty of states to weigh in against the effects of these job- crushing regulations. In particular, as the highest-priority near-term action item, we urge you to give close consideration to the resolution highlighted in Chapter 5 call- ing on Congress to stop the train wreck.

The resolution has been intro- duced in a number of states, and has, as of early February, passed out of state houses in Indiana and Wyoming. Our allies in Congress need to hear your support immediately; the Administration needs to understand your determination. Finally, while the report offers a glimpse into this train wreck as it stands in early , the regulatory environment is obviously dynamic. To provide ongoing updates to this material including news on additional rulemak- ings, innovative tools, and links to new studies , an accompanying web- site is hosted at www.

We will keep you up-to-speed on the progress of the Stop the Train Wreck resolution in legislatures across the country. We encour- age you to check this site often.

COM 10 hy do so many now refer to the blizzard of regulatory activity that EPA has unleashed as a train wreck? The timeline shows multiple EPA regulations all of which have a common purpose: to force the power sector into early retirements of its coal-fueled fleet of electric generation stations and to force the manufacturing and industrial sectors to cease using coal as an input fuel.

Renewable resources have an important role to play, but it is foolish to think that we can shut down the 50 percent of the power sector that uses coal and replace all that generation with wind and solar. Trying to force that outcome through the top-down EPA rulemaking that the schematic illustrates will be hugely debilitating to the economy, as this report will show. Dingell underestimated what the current EPA has in mind. Not only is EPA intent on triggering a glorious mess of greenhouse gas regulation, it intends to layer on top of that mess all of the additional regulation shown in the schematic.

And it is doing it at a time when the economy is least able to handle the staggering regulatory burden. Most of these regulations provide for duplicative, inefficient, command-and-control mechanisms for controlling the same emissions from the same electric generation stations; some apply to manufacturing and industrial facilities. This section provides a very basic introduction to the elements of this train wreck, including the background and timeline for rulemaking, the sources affected, and, where available, citation of the relative price tag for each regulation to include compliance costs, jobs lost, or overall economic ef- fects.

Report: No ‘train wreck’ from EPA utility rules | TheHill

GHG regulation under the Clean Air Act, as the greatest departure from established federal air and water regulation, is discussed with more legal and economic context at the end of this section. As Chapter 3 discusses, independent analysis indicates that even a small number of these rules are likely to result in radical chang- es to the U. Regulation of Cooling Water Intake Structures Clean Water Act Background In an attempt to protect fish populations under certain situations, EPA is considering an overbroad regulation that could force a significant number of existing fossil fuel and nuclear power plants to replace their once- through cooling systems with cooling towers.

As we noted last June ,… More. On the flip side of this issue,… More. This morning, I posted about the difficulty in challenging regulations under Massachusetts law. Later this morning, the SJC agreed. In Entergy v. We will apply all rational presumptions in favor of the validity of the administration action and not declare it void unless its provisions cannot by any reasonable construction be interpreted in harmony with the legislative mandate.

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