The Buckeye Institute-Led Coalition Files Public Comments, Demonstrates Failings of Proposed EPA Rule

Aug 08, 2023

Columbus, OH – On Tuesday, The Buckeye Institute led a coalition of free-market organizations in filing public comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule for new and existing fossil fuel-fired power plants. The Frontier Institute in Montana, Caesar Rodney Institute in Delaware, John Locke Foundation in North Carolina, and Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Michigan joined Buckeye in filing the comments.

The proposed rule demands that power plants implement carbon capture and sequestration systems capable of reducing total CO2 emissions by 88.4 percent or shut down by 2040. However, as the coalition’s comments reveal, no government-funded carbon capture and sequestration program or commercial-scale facility has ever consistently met this capture rate. In fact, the best carbon capture and sequestration rate achieved could only mitigate 63 percent of CO2 emissions from a small power plant, “far below what the EPA has claimed” is possible and well below what the proposed rule demands.

“The EPA’s arbitrary standard does not reflect what [carbon capture and sequestration] has achieved or is scientifically capable of achieving,” the organizations wrote. Yet, the EPA’s proposed rule will require all existing long-term coal-fired power plants to implement costly retrofits to meet this unachieved standard. 

“In its current form, the proposed rule will jeopardize America’s energy security by making cheap power scarce and markedly increasing power costs for all Americans, rich and poor alike.” Further, the proposed rule does not satisfy the required legal standards for enacting such a regulation, and the EPA should revise or abandon the rule, which will likely fail legal challenge.

David C. Tryon, director of litigation, and Alex M. Certo, legal fellow, with The Buckeye Institute’s Legal Center; along with Zachary D. Cady, associate economist, and Trevor W. Lewis, economic research analyst, with the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute, authored the comments.

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