Ed Markey and Henry Waxman are no Fossil Fools! The two Chairmen and Congressional Climate Champs released a new bill yesterday calling for a moratorium on any new coal plants that do not capture and sequester their greenhouse gas emissions.
The ban would stay in place until Congress adopts and implements comprehensive global warming regulation and is designed to addresses the largest new source of global warming pollution — new coal-fired power plants that are being built without any controls on their global warming emissions.
"Comprehensive economy-wide regulation to address global warming is coming soon. But new uncontrolled coal-fired power plants are being built today," said Rep. Waxman (D-Cal.), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and author of the most-aggressive Congressional proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. “My legislation says: “No new plants without emissions controls.” The alternative is senseless - locking in decades of additional global warming emissions and requiring greater emissions reductions across the U.S. economy to compensate."
"If we lose control of coal, we will have lost control of the climate," said Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "This bill will make companies prepare for the future and prevent them from building low-tech coal-fired power plants before a global warming bill is passed that will necessitate the use of the newest, most climate-friendly technology. "
Without emissions controls, a new coal-fired power plant will emit hundreds of millions of tons of global warming pollution over its fifty-year lifetime. Over 100 new plants have been proposed, and if just a portion of these are built, they will make hitting greenhouse gas reduction targets necessary to halt dangerous climate change next to impossible. A single new uncontrolled coal plant could erase all the emissions reductions that will be achieved through the Northeastern states' Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, for example.
The bill, titled the "Moratorium on Uncontrolled Power Plants Act" would ban either EPA or states from issuing permits to new coal-fired power plants that are not built with state-of-the-art emissions control technology to capture and permanently sequester the plant's carbon dioxide emissions. The moratorium extends until a comprehensive federal regulatory program for global warming pollution is in place.
Looking ahead to future global warming regulations, the bill also bars any new coal-fired power plant built without state-of-the-art control technology from receiving any free or reduced cost emissions allowances under a future cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.
"Many communities are still paying for failed nuclear power plant investments in the 1980's," said a press release issued by Chairman Markey. "This bill puts investors and power companies on notice that if they invest in new sources of global warming pollution now, taxpayers won't pay for the costs of cleaning up those sources later."
“It’s important for ratepayers and regulators to understand the financial risks if their power company wants to build a new uncontrolled coal-fired power plant," said Rep. Waxman. "Those plants will be a lot more expensive to operate when global warming pollution is regulated. Ratepayers need to make sure they won't be stuck with the bill."
It's time to simply say "No!" to new coal plants! Like Markey and Waxman, American's are no Fossil Fools. Americans want Green Jobs Not Coal, and it's time Congress heard that message.