Today, the EPA published in the Federal Register its proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for new power plants. In this proposed rule, EPA has elected the most restrictive and expensive regulatory path based on, at best, a liberal interpretation of the Clean Air Act. A similar interpretation under a different set of GHG rules is now the subject of a Supreme Court case to be argued in February.
Pushing beyond the limits of their regulatory authority in attempts to enact the most aggressive rules possible inevitably requires intervention from the courts and leaves manufacturers in a land of perpetual regulatory uncertainty. Of great concern to manufacturers is the precedent this rule sets for the pending rule on existing power plants and future GHG regulations for other industrial sectors.
While manufacturers continue to believe that the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for addressing GHGs, within this regulatory regime there is room for the Administration to achieve its policy goals without setting unachievable standards. The NAM encourages the Administration to adopt a more reasonable approach in the final rule.
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