Washington, D.C. — In an Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan, Subcommittee on the Environment and Climate Change Republican Leader David B. McKinley (R-WV) advocated for the need to both unleash innovation in carbon capture technology and protect pipeline workers in America.
Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:
ON NEW SOURCE REVIEW PERMITS
“I think one thing we can all agree to is the world needs to reduce its carbon emissions and I think we are on the same page here.
“But the President has repeatedly pledged publicly to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 and some in Congress are trying to move that up to 2030.
“But what I want in this hearing today over this budget, I want to look at what will need to happen for a power plant to meet that goal. Carbon capture technology must become commercially viable, the New Source Review program must be reformed, and the U.S. will need to develop a pipeline system to dispose of the captured carbon.
“Utility companies have found that it takes seven to eight years to get a New Source Review permit, and then perform the engineering, design, permitting, and installation of carbon capture on a unit to achieve net zero.
“If utilities must comply with the Democrats’ 2030 goal, they will have to start this immediately using today’s technology. But it’s widely recognized that today’s carbon capture technology is not ready for prime time. It’s incapable of capturing 80% of our carbon emissions.
“But let’s assume that the technology works in the next 12 months and can capture 80% of the carbon emitted, utilities will still need a New Source Review permit to upgrade their units. Yet the New Source Review program lacks certainty and predictability.
“According to the GAO, EPA reviewed 831 units and 467 were found to have violated the New Source Review program after the upgrades had been made. That’s not certainty, that’s insanity. This can cause hundreds of millions of dollars in additional costs as a result of the EPA not following its regulations.
“So what our utilities need is certainty. That is why New Source Review needs to be reformed. Yet there is nothing in the President’s agenda or in this budget discussing reforms to this program.
“Rather, it seems that this administration will have the same agenda as President Obama’s, which focuses on regulations.”
ON THE NEED FOR PIPELINES
“Now, let’s assume that they can get carbon capture technology and they actually get a permit. Now the power plant will need to develop a pipeline system to transport the captured carbon.
“But Democrats have taken an adverse position to pipelines. Just look at the Keystone XL pipeline, the Atlantic Coast pipeline, the Dakota Access pipeline, Mountain Valley pipeline, and Line 5 in Michigan.
“Why do we think as we develop this that environmentalists are going to let states and the administration approve more pipelines? If they tie these pipelines up in the courts, like they have others, our pipeline system won’t be built by 2030. We will have accomplished nothing.
“All of these things must come together by 2030. Developing and commercializing carbon capture technologies, changes to the New Source Review program that allow utilities to install carbon capture, and building out a system of carbon dioxide pipelines. But in the quiet of the night, EPA and this administration know this can’t be done.
“So why isn’t this administration just honest with the American public? This is nothing but a politically driven agenda aimed at ending jobs and the use of coal and natural gas in this country.
“And coal miners and gas workers around the country will suffer by losing their homes, jobs, and livelihoods.”