HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 9
(By Delegates Caputo, Craig, Marcum, R.
Phillips, Moye, Perry, Stephens, Walker, Reynolds,
D. Poling and Ferro)
Urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop guidelines that support the lead role of states in regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
Whereas, A reliable and affordable energy supply is vital to West Virginia’s economic growth, jobs, and the overall interests of its citizens; and
Whereas, West Virginia supports an all-the-above energy strategy because it is in the best interest of West Virginia and the Nation; and
Whereas, The United States has abundant supplies of coal that provide economic and energy security benefits; and
Whereas, Coal provides affordable and reliable electricity to the citizens of West Virginia; and
Whereas, Carbon regulations for existing coal-fueled power plants could threaten the affordability and reliability of West Virginia’s electricity supplies and risk substantial job losses through the premature closure of power plants that have just invested in pollution controls to meet the U.S. EPA’s recent mercury regulations; and
Whereas, Carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. coal-fueled power plants represent only three percent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; and
Whereas, The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. electric sector carbon dioxide emissions will be fourteen percent below 2005 levels in 2020 and that carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. coal-fueled power plants will be nineteen percent below 2005 in 2020; and
Whereas, On June 25, 2013, The President directed the Administrator of the U.S. EPA to issue standards, regulations, or guidelines to address carbon dioxide emissions from new, existing, modified, and reconstructed fossil-fueled power plants; and
Whereas, The President expressly recognized that the states “will play a central role in establishing and implementing carbon standards for existing power plants”; and
Whereas, The Clean Air Act requires EPA to establish a “procedure” under which each state shall develop a plan for establishing and implementing standards of performance for existing sources within the state; and
Whereas, The Clean Air Act expressly allows states, in developing and applying such standards of performance, “to take into consideration, among other factors, the remaining useful life of the existing source to which such standard applies”; and
Whereas, EPA’s existing regulations provide that states may adopt “less stringent emissions standards or longer compliance schedules” that EPA’s guidelines based on factors such as “unreasonable cost of control,” “physical impossibility of installing necessary control equipment,” or other factors that make less stringent standards or longer compliance times “significantly more reasonable”; and
Whereas, It is in the best interest of electricity consumers in West Virginia to continue to benefit from reliable, affordable electricity provided by coal-based electricity generating plants; therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Delegates:
That West Virginia urges EPA, in developing guidelines for regulating carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, to respect the primacy of West Virginia and other states and to rely on state regulators to develop performance standards for carbon dioxide emissions that take into account the unique policies, energy needs, resource mix, and economic priorities of West Virginia and other states; and, be it
Further Resolved, That EPA should issue guidelines and approve state-established performance standards that are based on reductions of carbon dioxide emissions achievable by measures undertaken at fossil-fueled power plants; and, be it
Further Resolved, That EPA should allow West Virginia and other states to set less stringent performance standards or longer compliance schedules for power plants within their jurisdiction; and, be it
Further Resolved, that West Virginia and other states should be given maximum flexibility by EPA to implement carbon dioxide performance standards for fossil-fueled power plants within their jurisdiction; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.