Washington D.C., December 19, 2013.—Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee have sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy today expressing concerns with “the Agency’s consistent attempts to avoid transparency " in rushing to release proposed rules mandating the capture and storage of carbon from power plant emissions while major concerns from the scientific community remain unresolved.
The Work Group showed that EPA rushed ahead with its costly power plant proposal without waiting for the advice of its independent science advisors and that the underlying science lacked adequate peer review,” the letter reads.
The EPA’s proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) mandate that power plants implement a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) system to remove carbon from carbon dioxide emissions. The rules also impose new regulatory burdens on businesses who would use the CO2 as a supply stream for gas injection operations in enhanced oil recovery(EOR) operations. Questions about impacts of long-term storage of such emissions remain unanswered and members of the Science Advisory Board have raised concerns about inadequate peer review of the EPA’s studies.
“The new mandates in the NSPS rule will create regulatory burdens and litigation risks that could make carbon dioxide from power plants no longer economically viable for use in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) operations,” wrote committee members. But since EOR is currently the only way to comply with the new power plant rule, this would impede both the practical operation of the rule and erect unnecessary barriers to the use of EOR. As you know, the Committee has already raised concerns with the Agency’s premature declaration of “adequate demonstration” of CCS under the Clean Air Act; unintended burdens on EOR further complicate the analysis.”
“The EPA would impose new regulatory burdens while ignoring the advice of the scientific community and dismissing facts that are inconvenient to their position,” said Schweikert. “That’s bad policy-making that could result in lost jobs and higher electricity costs for Arizonans.”
The full text of the letter can be read here.
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