Think tank urges states to reject Clean Power Plan

Source: Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2015

A think tank linked to industrialists Charles and David Koch launched a campaign today to stop states from complying with U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

The Institute for Energy Research sent letters to public utility commissions in all 50 states, warning that existing generation is cheaper than any replacements that would arrive under EPA’s draft rule.

“It’s really a message to the [public utility commissions],” said Dan Simmons, IER’s vice president of policy. “The reason we don’t think states should be submitting plans is because there are multiple legal theories that are very strong. As we saw with MATS, you’re shutting down plants, increasing electricity rates.”

IER is calling on states to reject costs incurred under the new EPA rule, slated to be finalized this summer. In the letter, IER argued that the Supreme Court’s ruling that EPA should have considered costs before issuing its Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will have legal ramifications for the Clean Power Plan.

IER in its letter said the court’s ruling “warrants an honest assessment of the cost of tearing down existing sources and building new sources” and that state PUCs should “stand up and protect American families” from higher energy costs.

EPA responded to critics of its power plant rule in a February website posting.

“As with anything EPA does, a handful of special-interest critics are automatically opposed,” spokesman Tom Reynolds said in the EPA blog (E&ENews PM, Feb. 25).

Reynolds, who managed communications for President Obama’s inaugural committee and presidential campaign, said reliability is a “top issue” for EPA.