CHARLESTON – The House of Delegates today unanimously adopted a resolution urging the federal Environmental Protection Agency to take into consideration the unique energy needs and economic priorities of West Virginia and other coal-producing states when setting new guidelines for carbon dioxide emissions.
“This country is making significant strides in lowering electric sector carbon emissions, and the standards for new power plants moving forward are impossibly tough,” House Majority Whip Mike Caputo, D-Marion, noted. “We are simply asking that in considering guidelines for the existing coal-fueled power plants that they take into account what is economically feasible and reasonable.”
Caputo, lead sponsor of House Resolution 13, pointed to projections by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that by 2020, U.S. electric sector carbon dioxide emissions will be 14 percent below 2005 levels, while carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. coal-fueled power plants will be 19 percent lower.
“In requiring individual plans for states, the Clean Air Act specifically allows states to take into consideration, among other factors, the useful life of that power source and ‘unreasonable’ costs,” Caputo said. “These companies, which are vital to West Virginia’s economy, have just invested in pollution controls to meet new federal mercury regulations, and will not be able to afford to bring their facilities into compliance with unreasonable standards for existing plants.”
HR 13 asks the EPA to approve state-established performance standards that are based on reductions of carbon dioxide emissions achievable by measures undertaken at fossil-fueled power plants or extend the compliance schedule.
“We just want the EPA to work with the state on implementation of these standards, so that we can keep these facilities open and keep West Virginia workers employed,” Caputo said.
Cosponsors of the resolution are House Speaker Tim Miley, D-Harrison, and Delegates Kevin Craig, D-Cabell; Justin Marcum, D-Mingo; Rupie Phillips, D-Logan; Ricky Moye, D-Raleigh; David Perry, D-Fayette; Dale Stephens, D-Cabell; David Walker, D-Clay; Doug Reynolds, D-Cabell; Dan Poling, D-Wood; Mike Ferro, D-Marshall; Josh Barker, D-Lincoln; Brent Boggs, D-Braxton; Denise Campbell, D-Randolph; Phil Diserio, D-Brooke; Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln; Ron Fragale, D-Harrison; Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha; Bill Hartman, D-Randolph; Mark Hunt, D-Kanawha; Richard Iaquinta, D-Harrison; Ronnie Jones, D-Hancock; Tim Kinsey, D-Wayne; Linda Longstreth, D-Marion; Dana Lynch, D-Webster; Tim Manchin, D-Marion; Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor; Charlene Marshall, D-Monongalia; Clif Moore, D-McDowell; Jim Morgan, D-Cabell; Brady Paxton, D-Putnam; Don Perdue, D-Wayne; David Pethtel, D-Wetzel; Linda Phillips, D-Wyoming; John Pino, D-Fayette; Mary Poling, D-Barbour; Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha; Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha; Peggy Smith, D-Lewis; Margaret Staggers, D-Fayette; Randy Swartzmiller, D-Hancock; Ted Tomblin, D-Logan; Harry Keith White, D-Mingo; Larry Williams, D-Preston; Adam Young, D-Nicholas; and Danny Wells, D-Kanawha.