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Morrisey urges EPA to delay carbon dioxide regulations for existing power plants

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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wants the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to delay imposing stringent carbon dioxide emission regulations on existing power plants until it "resolves substantial problems with the proposed regulations for new power plants."

In a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Morrisey said the regulations for existing power plants should be postponed because they are based on flawed rules targeting new power plants. The EPA’s first attempt at creating new source performance standards — or NSPS — had to be withdrawn after the comment process revealed numerous defects. The current version also suffers from multiple, well-documented problems he said, and has been heavily criticized by job-creators and bipartisan leaders across the nation.

“Our office is deeply concerned that the EPA has already shared with the White House its proposal for regulating existing power plants when obvious legal problems leave the proposal for new plants in so much doubt,” Morrisey said. “Driven by the ideology that ‘big government knows best,’ the EPA seems intent on pushing these job-killing regulations regardless of the real concerns voiced by our citizens, job-creators, and elected leaders from both parties.”

Morrisey urged McCarthy and other EPA officials to travel to West Virginia and hear firsthand from people who will be directly impacted by the proposed regulations.

“If permitted to become law, these regulations will have serious consequences for anyone who pays an electric bill and will have a negative impact on the economies of West Virginia and other coal-producing states,” Morrisey said.

Morrisey also outlined concerns with the current proposed regulations for new power plants, pointing out that the proposal relies heavily on government-funded projects employing carbon capture and storage, or CCS, "even though the EPA cannot identify even one coal-burning power plant currently using CCS on a commercial scale." The letter states that this reliance is a violation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, a law that expressly forbids the EPA from setting performance standards based on technology that is funded by government subsidies.

“Our office has repeatedly said that we will work with anyone at the EPA to achieve responsible environmental protection that does not destroy the livelihoods of thousands of West Virginians,” Morrisey said. “We want the EPA to stop launching more regulations impacting existing power plants until it resolves the numerous problems with the current proposal.”