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Thornberry, Congress vote to disapprove of 'burdensome' EPA regulations
Regulations could increase energy prices by 18 percent
U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry (R-Clarendon) voted yesterday in support of two resolutions of disapproval for two Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for new and existing power plants. S.J. Res 23 and 24 passed the House by votes of 235-188 and 242-180 respectively.
“There is no question that these burdensome regulations will drive up costs for businesses and consumers alike,” said Thornberry. “We all want clear air and clean water, but with these rules, the administration is seeking to regulate where it could not legislate. They show that the President and his EPA have prioritized their anti-fossil fuel agenda above the reliability and affordability of electricity in America.”
An October study released by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) estimates that Texas retail energy prices could increase by as much as 18 percent by 2030 because of EPA regulations.
The same study also estimates that Texas will have to retire about a quarter of its current coal-fired power plant capacity. ERCOT has reported that the Texas power grid “could see multiple unit retirements within a short time frame" leading to “periods of reduced generating reserves and increase the risk of emergency operations during periods of peak customer demand, such as the hottest days of summer.”
Under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), Congress can pass a joint resolution within 60-days to nullify a specific agency rule. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by the House and Senate and signed by the President, or if Congress overrides a presidential veto, the rule(s) at issue cannot go into effect or continue in effect.
In October, EPA published two separate rules addressing carbon emissions from power plants. The first regulation set carbon dioxide standards for new and modified power plants, also known as the new source performance standards (NSPS). The second regulation, known as the Clean Power Plan (CPP), set carbon emission standards for existing power plants.
S.J. Res. 23 nullifies the NSPS regulation, and S.J. Res. 24 nullifies the CPP regulation. Both resolutions passed the Senate by separate votes of 52-46 on Nov. 17, 2015.