EPA’s unattainable standards
West Virginia’s economy rests, to a large extent, on the shoulders of our coal, gas and manufacturing industries. Unfortunately, the United States Environmental Protection Agency continues working to remove one of those economic legs out from under us.
Greenhouse gas new source performance standards proposed by EPA set emission standards for new power plants. This rule requires all future power plants using fossil fuels to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour. I’m informed that this is an unattainable standard for even the most modern and efficient coal generating facilities.
By requiring this stringent standard, even as new coal fired power plants are significantly cleaner than older facilities, they are, in effect, forcing coal out of America’s power generation equation.
West Virginia and America need a diversified mix of fuels to power our economy, and the manufacturers, businesses and citizens that comprise it. Energy reliability and affordability are kept in check when we responsibly use all the resources available to us.
I applaud Gov. Tomblin and our congressional delegation for their efforts to encourage a level playing field as it relates to these proposed standards.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Karen Facemyer is president of the Polymer Alliance Zone of West Virginia and a former member of the West Virginia Senate.