“Despite EPA’s contention,” NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn said in a press statement, “the only regulatory certainty this rule provides is the assurance that the nation’s energy portfolio will become less diverse, its electricity grid less reliable and its electric power more expensive.” The CCS requirement effectively bans the construction of new, high-efficiency units that boast fewer emissions using best-in-class technology. Consequently, Quinn said, EPA removes the option of replacing aging power plants and meeting future load growth with reliable and affordable generating capacity.

“The proposed rule exemplifies what is fundamentally wrong with EPA’s approach to regulating greenhouse gases — an indifference to independent expert opinion, a rush-before-ready push for unproven technology and cost consequences for family-wage jobs and energy bills,” Quinn said.

Separately, the broad industrial coalition of which NMA is a part, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, said its members have delivered more than 1 million comments to EPA in opposition to the proposed rule. A final rule “demanding unachievable standards of performance for electric power plants will set dangerous precedent for future regulation of other sectors,” said the partnership in a press statement last week on behalf of its 140 member organizations. Also, House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said the committee has released 1,000 pages of testimony critical of EPA for “recklessly pushing ahead” with CCS as the standard for new coal plants. Smith said EPA “displays a striking disregard for the law and scientific integrity, while jeopardizing our nation’s future” and called for the agency to withdraw the rule.