On 19 June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final affordable clean energy (ACE) rule – replacing the prior administration’s overreaching clean power plan (CPP) with a rule that restores the rule of law and empowers states to continue to reduce emissions while providing affordable and reliable energy for all Americans.
ACE has received widespread praise:
Senate Committee on the Budget Chairman Senator Mike Enzi (WY) stated: “I am glad the EPA is replacing the CPP, which was designed to put coal out of business. States, not the federal government, are in the best position to set energy policies that work best for them. This rule helps to empower states and provide needed flexibility to move toward better energy production without causing economic harm.”
Senator Steve Daines (MT) stated: “The new ACE plan is great news for Montana’s rural communities. The Obama EPA Power Plan would have wiped out Colstrip immediately, killing high paying jobs, local and state tax revenue that helps pay for our schools, and affordable reliable energy that keeps the lights on. This ACE Rule would instead provide flexibility to states and power plants to innovate to reduce pollution rather than eliminating coal fired generation with heavy mandates from Washington. I thank the Trump administration for taking this leadership.”
Congresswoman Liz Cheney (WY-AL) noted: “The Trump Administration is once again working to strengthen the Wyoming economy and protect the energy industry by reversing the Obama-era CPP, which was killing jobs, strangling our economy, and slowly destroying our coal industry. Coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin is the cleanest in the world and provides power to 27 states. Ensuring the reliability of our electric grid by supporting coal — a crucial baseload power source – is an economic and national security priority. By returning more authority to the states, the ACE Rule will allow regulators in Wyoming and other states throughout the country to tailor their plans without the devastating effects of the CPP. This rule recognises the need for proven sources of energy that keep the lights on in Wyoming and throughout the country, a stark contrast from proposals like the Green New Deal that are purely a fantasy. I thank President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for their commitment to a cooperative partnership between the EPA and states, rather than the mandated subservience required by the Obama Administration.”
Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-9) said: “When the Obama Administration proposed its CPP, I made the point repeatedly that it was unlawful according to standards set by the courts and even the EPA’s own prior interpretations of the Clean Air Act. Courts stayed the rule, but if it had been enacted, it would have shut down power plants and put coal miners out of business. The Trump Administration’s ACE rule is a marked improvement. It will reduce pollution while respecting the EPA’s authority and the roles of the states. States will be able to plan for cutting emissions of pollutants while taking into account their energy sources. This rule keeps the EPA’s focus where it should be: on cleaner air, not shutting down mines and power plants at the expense of consumers and ratepayers.”
Congressman Don Young (AK-AL) said: “The CPP was an egregious act of Federal overreach that attempted to override the original congressional intent behind the Clean Air Act. I’m pleased that the EPA has instead issued the ACE rule, which helps reign in Federal bureaucracy, cut red tape, and empower states in determining the best course of action for their energy, environmental, and geographic needs. This rule, unlike the CPP, will not force coal-based power plants to shut down or face unfair and punitive penalties, but will allow them to continue to operate while working to become more efficient.”
Congressman Greg Gianforte (MT-AL) stated: “I appreciate the work of EPA Administrator Wheeler and President Trump to repeal the CPP and help end the war on coal. I welcome this new rule that will help reduce emissions, maintain state authority and flexibility, and recognises the important role that innovation and modernisation can play in our existing coal generation facilities.”
Donnie Colston, President, Unions for Jobs and Environmental Progress noted: "Our members primarily work in electric generation construction, operations, and maintenance, rail transportation and coal mining. We support EPA's ACE rule that will replace the CPP. Our member unions were active in the development of the original CPP. We were concerned about its 'outside the fence' approach effectively mandating that utilities switch from coal to natural gas and renewables, and its adverse job impacts among workers and communities. Several of our members joined in the legal challenges to the rule, which was stayed by the Supreme Court. We support the 'inside the fence' approach that EPA is adopting for a state-driven, unit-specific program to improve the efficiency and reduce emissions of plants subject to the replacement rule. These investments can create thousands of jobs, improve worker safety, and enhance energy efficiency while reducing CO2 and other air pollutants. This rule is a win-win for jobs and the environment."
Americans for Tax Reform stated: “Today, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler released the finalised the ACE rule, which repeals the Obama-era CPP. The Obama EPA’s CPP was intentionally designed to regulate away coal from our nation’s energy portfolio with the ultimate goal of eliminating traditional forms of energy, resulting in higher prices for consumers. The CPP was regulatory overreach at its worst as the Obama EPA exceeded its authority given by Congress under the Clean Air Act. In 2016, the Supreme Court was forced to issue a stay of the CPP and blocked it from ever actually being implemented. The Trump EPA’s ACE Rule repeals the unlawful CPP and correctly returns power back to the states while restoring the EPA to its proper regulatory role under the Clean Air Act. The ACE rule creates guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit emissions at their coal-fired power plants by identifying heat rate improvements as the best system of emission reduction (BSER). States are given three years to submit plans ensuring flexibility and adequate time for development. The EPA projects that ACE Rule will result in annual net benefits of US$120 million - 730 million, including costs, domestic climate benefits and health co-benefits.”
Tyler White, President, Kentucky Coal Association concluded: “We thank Administrator Wheeler and the EPA for finalising the ACE rule. For a state like Kentucky which produces nearly 75% of its power from coal, the CPP would have devastated the economic vitality of our state’s ability to produce affordable reliable energy. By replacing the legally flawed CPP with the ACE Rule, we will ensure states have the ability to regulate emissions in an efficient and logical manner. For a state like Kentucky we are able to produce affordable and abundant energy which feeds to the industrial ecosystem and provides affordable electricity for the citizens of the commonwealth."
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/power/26062019/what-they-are-saying-about-epas-affordable-clean-energy-rule/