GOP Goes Head Hunting in EPA Climate Probe

The smoke stacks at American Electric Power's (AEP) Mountaineer coal power plant in New Haven, West Virginia, October 30, 2009. In cooperation with AEP, the French company Alstom unveiled the world's largest carbon capture facility at a coal plant, so called 'clean coal,' which will store around 100,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide a year 2,1 kilometers (7,200 feet) underground.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
Ben Geman
March 12, 2014, 10:41 a.m.

House Re­pub­lic­ans are get­ting more ag­gress­ive in their ef­fort to trans­form ob­scure pro­vi­sions of a 2005 en­ergy law in­to the strands that un­ravel EPA’s car­bon-emis­sions rules for newly con­struc­ted power plants.

The En­ergy and Com­merce Com­mit­tee’s GOP lead­ers, in a new let­ter to the En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency, de­mand the names of people at EPA who de­term­ined that the pro­posed emis­sions rules don’t run afoul of the En­ergy Policy Act of 2005.

The let­ter also seeks a slew of in­tern­al doc­u­ments.

Here’s what the fight is about: The 2005 law au­thor­izes tax cred­its and En­ergy De­part­ment fund­ing for pro­jects us­ing tech­no­logy that traps car­bon emis­sions from coal-based en­ergy pro­jects.

But pro­vi­sions in the same law say a tech­no­logy can’t form the basis for fu­ture EPA reg­u­la­tions simply be­cause it’s de­ployed at these “clean-coal” pro­jects.

EPA rules pro­posed in Septem­ber would re­quire fu­ture coal-fired power plants to trap and store a sub­stan­tial amount of their car­bon emis­sions.

The 2005 pro­vi­sions sud­denly mat­ter be­cause EPA has poin­ted to En­ergy De­part­ment-backed pro­jects when mak­ing the case that car­bon cap­ture and stor­age is far enough along to form the basis for the rule.

But EPA says it’s in the clear, be­cause this hand­ful of pro­jects backed un­der the 2005 law are far from the sole basis for the agency’s de­term­in­a­tion that CCS is ready for prime time.

The agency, in a de­tailed memo re­leased sev­er­al weeks ago, said it also re­viewed pro­jects that aren’t fun­ded un­der the 2005 law and oth­er in­form­a­tion.

But Re­pub­lic­ans say they’re not con­vinced. The let­ter seeks ex­pans­ive doc­u­ment­a­tion from EPA on the top­ic, such as in­tern­al emails and com­mu­nic­a­tions with oth­er agen­cies.

What We're Following See More »
THANKS TO MILITARY ROLE
McMaster Requires Congressional Approval
16 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Congress will need to vote on Donald Trump's pick of Lt. General H.R. McMaster to be his next national security adviser, but not for the reason you think. The position of NSA doesn't require Senate approval, but since McMaster currently holds a three-star military position, Congress will need to vote to allow him to keep his position instead of forcing him to drop one star and become a Major General, which could potentially affect his pension.

Source:
SENT LETTERS TO A DOZEN ORGANIZATIONS
Senate Intel Looks to Preserve Records of Russian Interference
20 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ensure that records related to Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 U.S. elections are preserved as it begins investigating that country’s ties to the Trump team. The panel sent more than a dozen letters to 'organizations, agencies and officials' on Friday, asking them to preserve materials related to the congressional investigation, according to a Senate aide, who was not authorized to comment publicly. The Senate Intelligence Committee is spearheading the most comprehensive probe on Capitol Hill of Russia’s alleged activities in the elections."

Source:
WON’T INTERFERE IN STRUCTURING NSC OFFICE
White House to Give McMaster Carte Blanche
1 days ago
THE LATEST
NAIVE, RISK TAKER
Russia Compiling Dossier on Trump’s Mind
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Retired Russian diplomats and members of Vladimir Putin's staff are compiling a dossier "on Donald Trump's psychological makeup" for the Russian leader. "Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser."

Source:
PLANS TO CURB ITS POWER
Pruitt Confirmed As EPA Head
5 days ago
BREAKING
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login