CoalBlue Project Applauds Donnelly-Heitkamp Letter to President Obama on NSPS

May 21, 2014

CoalBlue Project Applauds Donnelly-Heitkamp Letter to President Obama on NSPS
Senators Recognize Harmful Impacts of Proposed Rule on GHG Reductions, Technology Development;

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The CoalBlue Project applauds the leadership of Senators Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp in writing President Obama to encourage him to reassess the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for new power plants, as it would impede, not drive, the development of necessary advanced coal technologies – such as carbon capture and storage – and inhibit the construction of higher-efficiency coal-fueled electric generating units that would immediately deliver reduced carbon emissions. CoalBlue also praises Senate Energy & Natural Resources Chairwoman Mary Landrieu and Senators Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Mark Pryor and Mark Warner, for joining Senators Donnelly and Heitkamp on the letter.

“The CoalBlue Project commends Senators Donnelly and Heitkamp for their leadership in making clear to the President and his Administration the essential nature of CCS as a driver of long-term, sustained emissions reductions,” says CoalBlue Project Chairman and former Pennsylvania Congressman Ron Klink. “If one honestly and impartially assesses the situation, the development and deployment of advanced, sustainable coal technologies is not only compatible with the President’s clean energy agenda, it is essential to it. The Senators are right to encourage the President to reevaluate his proposal to make sure America fosters – not inhibits – the technology innovations necessary to reducing carbon, while doing so in a way that preserves every American’s access to affordable and reliable electricity.”

The Senators express “deep concern” about the proposed rule and “strongly recommend” the President reevaluate his approach so that meaningful reductions in emissions can be achieved while advanced technologies, including carbon capture and storage (CCS), are made capable for full-scale commercial deployment. The letter references the fact that the Administration’s proposed rule mandates technology that has not been adequately demonstrated on a commercial scale in the utility sector, and “by impeding the development of CCS for coal-fired generation…is also placing in jeopardy the future uses of the technology for all other fossil fuel-fired applications.”

Scientists and energy technology experts widely agree that coal will remain an essential fuel for meeting U.S. and global energy demand for decades to come; the accelerated development and widespread commercial deployment of CCS are essential elements of any realistic strategy for reducing global CO2 emissions; and current government support of CCS development and deployment is inadequate.

While the EPA’s mandate of a technology that is not yet commercially ready may seem a slight and harmless overstep in the pursuit of a lower-carbon world, it is in fact a very serious misstep in that it threatens to derail the further development of CCS in the United States, thereby undermining efforts to achieve deep CO2 emission reductions here and abroad.

The CoalBlue Project has made the accelerated development and deployment of sustainable coal technologies a point of emphasis, including in its own letter to President Obama in October 2013, and in subsequent statements and activities. This message has been echoed by other leading voices, including energy technology manufacturers, scientists and academics, environmental organizations and utilities.

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North Dakota Legislative Assembly approves calls for increased public funding of environmentally friendly fossil-based energy technologies, including carbon capture, and preservation of fuel diversity in electricity generation.

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