House Energy and Commerce Committee

Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee

EPA's Proposed Carbon Pollution Standards for Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Plants

2322 Rayburn
Tue, 06 Jun 2023 14:30:00 GMT

On Tuesday, June 6, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials will hold a hearing entitled “Clean Power Plan 2.0: EPA’s Latest Attack on Electric Reliability.” The hearing will examine preliminary observations concerning the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed greenhouse pollution standards for the power sector and the reliable delivery of electricity.

Hearing memo


Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in West Virginia v. EPA, EPA issued on May 11, 2023, an omnibus proposed rulemaking that would limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for fossil fuel-fired power plants, including from both new and existing natural-gas-fired plants and from existing coal-fired plants, pursuant to Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA).

The May 11, 2023, proposal for fossil-fuel fired power plants would set limits for new gasfired combustion turbines, certain existing gas-fired combustion turbines, and existing coal, oil, and gas-fired steam generating units. The proposed standards are based on technologies including carbon capture and sequestration/storage (CCS), low-greenhouse-gas (GHG) hydrogen co-firing, and natural gas co-firing, which can be applied directly to power plants that use fossil fuels to generate electricity.

The proposed rules are part of a larger, comprehensive suite of regulatory actions for power plants. EPA Administrator Regan announced this suite of actions, known as the EGU (for “electric generating unit”) strategy, to address climate, health, and environmental burdens from power plants. These regulatory actions include the Interstate Transport Rule, Regional Haze, Risk and Technology Review for the Mercury Air Toxics Rule, effluent limitations, and a legacy coal combustion residue rule.

In February 2023, the nation’s largest grid operator, the PJM Interconnection, released a report noting that the current pace of retirements of dispatchable generation, mainly coal- and gas-fired generation, may outpace the addition of new resources onto the bulk power system. The PJM report cites three specific EPA policies that are leading contributors to this challenge, coal combustion residuals regulation, effluent limitations, and the Interstate Transport Rule, as key drivers in the loss of some 23 GW generation.