- The 150-organization Partnership for a Better Energy Future, which includes the National Chamber of Commerce, the National Mining Association, the American Petroleum Institute, and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, has sent a letter asking Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Gina McCarthy to extend the announced 120 day public comment period for the new emissions regulations and hold more than the announced four hearings across the U.S. to understand how the proposal represents “immense cost and regulatory burdens.”
- The rule would mandate a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels at existing power plants by 2030 and, though the groups say EPA should hear from fossil fuel-dependent industries that would be most impacted, they expect the final decision to come from the courts.
- The Partnership’s letter adds greater opposition to what, if it survives, will be President Obama's climate change legacy because it spurs renewables and efficiency development and is likely to force changes beyond fossil fuel plants to other industries and other energy resources.
The EPA was "pleased” by the Partnership’s interest and will respond to its letter, according to a spokesperson, and expects more such feedback at upcoming hearings in Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Denver, and Washington, D.C. In the first 25 days after the announcement of its rule, the EPA met with 60 stakeholder groups and got nearly 300,000 comments on the proposal.
The rule’s flexibility allows states to regulate emissions "beyond the fence" of a power plant and therefore is both especially controversial and expected to have a significant economic impact.