WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy told members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Wednesday coal will still play a sizeable role in the nation’s power generation capacity even if newly proposed emission regulations for existing power plants are enacted.

“If you look at our analysis, it shows coal in 2012 actually generated about 37 percent of the electricity,” McCarthy testified. “What we’re projecting is in 2030, that’s going to be about 30 percent.”

McCarthy defended Obama Administration proposals aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. She insisted the only regulation set in stone is the lowering of the emission standard, any other part of the proposal was only suggested ways for states to achieve the new standards.  She claimed before the committee the plan offered broad flexibility to each state on how to achieve the goal of reducing emissions in power generation.

“We think heavily dependent coal states will invest in coal,” McCarthy said. “They will most likely not take advantage of a shifting to lower sources and they won’t need to.”

McCarthy suggested the rules would prompt more research and technology development for fossil fuels to burn more cleanly and more efficiently.

McCarthy’s remarks were warmly embraced by Democrat members of the panel, including Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA). However, the Republicans were less inclined to buy the administrator’s defense. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) raised the argument recently leveled in a lawsuit by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey that the EPA cannot enforce the proposed rules since power plants are already regulated in another section of the EPA regulations.

“Does EPA impose regulations on existing coal fired power plants under section 112?” Wicker asked.

“We certainly do,” McCarthy responded.

“Based on that, the Attorney General of West Virginia says having been regulated under section 112, the EPA lacks the authority to further regulate these under EPA Section 1-d.” added Wicker.

“I don’t think the legal argument is properly framed,” McCarty said.

McCarthy suggested the agency went out of its way to include the comments and input of all stakeholders into the proposed rules. McCarthy told lawmakers the science on global warming is no longer debatable in the face of mounting evidence. In response to one question McCarthy said catastrophic storms are already the product of global warming.

“When people ask me about the polar vortex, some pose it as a reason not to take action,” McCarthy said. “It is exactly the reason we have to take action.”

Senators also raised issues with the cost benefit analysis of the proposed rules. McCarthy said the impact they studied were global and national analysis and there had been no state-by-state analysis done. She defended the lack of the state-by-state data and said the impact will depend greatly on what decisions individual states make to reach the emission reduction requirements by the deadline.

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Comments

  • Craig from Mink Shoals

    This whole scam is designed to get the cost of electric up!

  • hillbilly

    So... coal is still key... but EPA will make darn sure it cannot grow .. only shrink.

    • Aaron

      If you look at EIA long term projections, the annual usage is expected to remain fairly constant. What will change is the skyrocketing cost.

  • dolphin3111

    1. In a paper released on 17 July in “Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics - Open Access”, a group of Netherlands Meteorologists and Physicists, by analyzing changes in Radiocarbon Dioxide (14CO2) in the atmosphere in Europe, have concluded from an extensive study that only 3.75% of atmospheric CO2 is man made from fossil fuels.

    2. Unless Ms. McCarthy explains the lack of warming in the last 15 years, and unless she explains how the earth came out the last ice age without man made CO2, and unless she explains the mechanism of how global warming is caused the first appearance of the polar vortex in the US since January 14, 1994, I must conclude that her knowledge of the subject is insignificant and her opinions are not worth consideration.

    3. According to top meteorologists at WeatherBell Analytics, factors such as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the El Nino Southern Oscillation, and others are lining up in such a way that this winter is going to be brutally cold for the PA, WV, OH area (much colder than last year). Coal is our mainstay for electricity during harsh winter (and summer) weather.

    • Shawn H

      If #3 is correct, we are in deep trouble. We were 1 coal fired power plant shutdown away from losing the entire eastern 2/3 electrical grid this past winter.

  • idiots

    I would like to see studies of the emissions of the automobiles in the smog infested areas of California or the population overloaded areas such as NYC. I would bet it would equal the emissions of a coal fired powerplant. Of course any study would be debased by the liberal media regardless.

    • Wirerowe

      EPA' s most recent data show that 38% of Us Co2 emissions come from power plants ( the best data that I see that 31% come from coal fired power plants) ,32 % from transportation, 14 from industry with the balance from miscellaneous sources.. CO 2 emissions from vehicles is going down due to stagnant demand and improved fuel efficiency in the total vehicle fleet.By the same token CO2 emissions from power plants are going down again from stagnant demand, shuttering of old power plants and shifts,more pronounced with low natural gas rates from coal to natural gas. It is still odd that while CO2 emissions have steadily been decreasing in this country and going up throughout the world that we want to place huge costs on our industries and residential consumers with additional Mandated CO 2 reductions that have negligible reductions on world wide Co2 emissions. I agree that part of the political science of global warming is the metropolitan areas on the east coast and west coast do not want restrictions on vehicular CO2 they want fly over America to suffer from reductions only from power plants. Most of what we read in the media is the political science of fear tactics of global warming and not the natural science of global warming.

    • The bookman

      41% of CO2 emissions are from fossil fuel related electrical generation. 22% comes from the transportation sector. So your argument isn't accurate. The real disconnect however is that the models used to predict man caused Global Warming, or AGW, are not accurate. We, according to the Al Gores and Dr Hansens of the world, should be much warmer than we are now. So we have have two choices. Believe that they are right, stop burning fossil fuels, and hope we aren't too late. Or, we can require the climate scientists who have perpetuated this hysteria on the public to accurately explain the separation between predicted temps and actual temps before we fundamentally change the way in which we live.

      • hillbilly

        Don't forget livestock farts and manure ponds.

      • goofy

        Where are the studies based on autos and has that been done recently? I'd like to review those to see if they are by a reputable group. As someone who has been to NY and LA numerous times I find that hard to believe.

        • The bookman

          The data comes from:

          http://whatsyourimpact.org/greenhouse-gases/carbon-dioxide-sources

          They source various government agencies, and as co2 emissions are constantly in flux, finding exact match ups in data would be rare. What you will find is that transportation sector emissions are falling due to decreased fuel demand in this sluggish economy, and represent half of the emissions attributed to electricity sector co2 emissions.

  • Wane

    Dear Ms. McCarthy. From 100,000 to 10,000 years ago, we were in an Ice Age. There wasn't any coal fired power plants that caused the earth to warm for well over 10,000 years. What do you blame that warming on?

    • Shawn H

      George Bush

  • Aaron

    Such hubris. She might as well have said what I have been saying all along. "Coal will play a role in our electrical generation; it will just cost much more every time you turn the lights on."

    The silver lining from her comments though is this should shut the idiots up who claim coal is dead.

    • Wirerowe

      Good points Aaron. Though Ms Mcarthy is lying through her teeth when she talks about the review period and listening to the stakeholders. The Sierra Club and the National Resource Development group have bought in and the minimum and at the maximum have been the drafters of the policy. She is not listening to anyone else. There will be no changes to the draft regulations. They are set in stone. She is lying.

      • Wirerowe

        Sorry natural resources defense council. Old Age squiggles.

        • The bookman

          You might as well have called them the EPA, as the NRDC and environmental advocacy groups are running that Agency.

  • thornton

    Could Ms. Gina be sensing her shelf life?

  • David

    McCarthy is a bare faced liar...

    There is no evidence whatsoever pointing to any catastrophic storms being caused by global warming.

    Only concocted science by people pushing that agenda..

    Paid for by the people behind the agenda.

    Every other country in the world is increasing it's use of coal.

    Remember Natalie Tennant supports these fools 100%...

  • The bookman

    Never before have I heard so much double speak. And then, she gives us the polar vortex is a product of global warming. Climate Scientists are still just wrapping their heads around Arctic Oscillations and Gina McCarthy attributes the polar vortex to global warming. And the whipped cream is that Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania are going to invest in CCS and save the planet.