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Cramer Statement on EPA Power Plant Regulations

Sep 20, 2013
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer released the following statement in response to drastic restrictions on new power plants announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):

“Very few places on earth are cleaner and greener than the state of North Dakota. With these regulations, the Obama Administration is telling us the cleanest coal technology ever developed by the United States ought to be punished, not rewarded. The EPA is trying to create nonexistent technology through regulation at the expense of the entire American economy, and is setting a terrible precedent for carbon regulation on everything from refineries to fertilizer plants. The standards set by President Obama today effectively block the construction of any new coal-fired power plant in the United States. It’s unacceptable, and it’s yet one more battle in this war on coal we have to be prepared to defend.”

The proposed New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) will limit carbon emissions to 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour (lbs CO2/MWh) for any future coal-fired power plants, and 1,000 lbs CO2/MWh for future gas-fired power plants. It is the first of two major regulations expected from a June speech given by President Obama, in which he ordered the EPA to effectively block the construction of new coal-fired power plants by restricting carbon emissions. The second piece is set to arrive next year, when the agency intends to restrict carbon emissions from existing power plants.

Emissions data from all seven coal-fired electricity generating plants in North Dakota indicate the Antelope Valley, Coal Creek, Coyote, Leland Olds, Milton R. Young, R.M. Heskett, and Stanton stations each produced between 2,033 and 3,020 lbs CO2 per MWh from 2007 to 2012.

The lignite coal industry alone directly employs 4,097 people in North Dakota, and generates $3.5 billion in annual business activity. 13,347 indirect employees supply the industry with goods and services, for a total employment of 17,444.

Earlier this week, Cramer highlighted North Dakota’s coal industry on the floor of the House of Representatives.