Skip to Main

March 11, 2014

EPA’s New Source Performance Standards are Crippling

Washington D.C., March 11, 2014—Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ) released a statement following today’s House Science, Space and Technology Joint Subcommittee on Environment and the Subcommittee on Energy hearing, EPA’s New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants, Part II .

This hearing examined the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for commercial power plants. Witnesses focused on the potential use of Carbon Capture and Storage Systems (CCS) in both coal and natural gas fired power plants, discussed the regional challenges of using CCS as well as the consequences of CCS storage on groundwater, and examined the industry response to CSS adoption costs and availability. 

“My colleagues and I received testimony from a variety of professionals in the energy field on the EPA’s NSPS proposal, which revealed an immature mandate request for utility companies, based on flimsy scientific data, and heavy-handed oversight without legitimate, existing infrastructure for our energy production,” said Chairman Schweikert. “These requirements of CCS storage for power plants are so expensive and unavailable, witness David Hawkins, the Director of Climate Programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council admitted they would not be adopted without regulation.”

“There are discussions of demonstration projects in EPA literature [that model CCS for power plants] but none of them are near the type of scales seen in commercial power plants today. It’s a little tricky writing a rule set on something that’s a long way from scaled demonstration.”

“Until these technologies are proven to be commercially available for our utilities companies without risks of harm to the storage location of CO2, our cities’ power suppliers will be left with few options for compliance and freedom to grow their businesses.”

The proposed regulations for new power plant emissions are based on conclusions from the EPA that CCS is a proven technology for controlling CO2 , even though, according to the EPA’s own outline, “CCS is not yet in use at any commercial-scale power plants.” Cost containment suggestions for CO2 storage solutions suggested by the EPA include sale of captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). But geographical distances leave this option closed to many.

Witnesses include:

Panel 1:
Robert G. HiltonVice President, Power Technologies for Government Affairs, Alstom Power Inc.
Truth in Testimony

Robert C. Trautz, Senior Project Manager, Electric Power Research Institute
Truth in Testimony

Scott MillerGeneral Manager and CEO, City Utilities of Springfield Missouri, American Public Power Association
Truth in Testimony

David Hawkins, Director of Climate Change Programs, Natural Resources Defense Council
Truth in Testimony

Panel 2: 
Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Truth in Testimony

 Full witness testimonies can be read here and more information on previous hearings on this topic can be found here


Congressman David Schweikert Chairs the House Space, Science, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment, and is the author of the Secret Science Reform Act and a strong advocate for transparent data, evidence, and scientific research. Full text of the legislation can be found here.

Contact Maggie Zehring:

Back to News