CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The U.S. Senate rejected a joint resolution on Thursday that would have halted the Trump administration’s Affordable Clean Energy rule, the replacement of the Clean Power Plan.
The Environmental Protection Agency issued the rule in June, which establishes guidelines for states regarding carbon-dioxide emissions and other gases released from coal-fired power plants. States can use “candidate technologies” to establish standards.
The rule replaces the Clean Power Plan, which would have reduced carbon dioxide levels to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., introduced the resolution last month. The Senate voted 41-53 on the measure.
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voted against the joint resolution; Manchin said while the new rule is flawed for ruling out carbon capture and other technologies at coal plants, the resolution was too broad.
“I believe we need to put the partisan gimmicks aside and come together to focus on developing and deploying the technologies vital to solving climate change, from carbon capture and utilization and solar power to energy efficiency and storage technologies. The technologies that were unattainable then are within reach now,” said Manchin, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Manchin said in June the federal government needs to pursue carbon capture technologies that meaningfully reduce carbon emissions.
Capito said the Affordable Clean Energy rule is better for West Virginia than the Clean Power Plan, which she called “an unrealistic and strangling regulation” that would have negatively affected the state.
“The ACE Rule is a better alternative that allows states and energy producers to reduce emissions at an achievable pace without cutting back on jobs or economic growth. That’s why I have been a staunch supporter of this commonsense alternative to the CPP and strongly opposed Democrats’ unsuccessful efforts today to block its implementation,” she said.
Capito said earlier this year the new regulation is a sign the current administration is balancing regulation and ending the “war on coal.”