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Statement of Administration Policy: S.J.Res. 23 - Disapproving EPA Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Electric Utility Generating Units

November 17, 2015


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(Senate)

(Sen. McConnell, R-KY, and 47 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes S.J.Res. 23, which would undermine the public health protections of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and stop critical U.S. efforts to reduce dangerous carbon pollution from power plants. In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the CAA gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution. In 2009, EPA determined that GHG pollution threatens Americans' health and welfare by leading to long-lasting changes to the climate that can, and are already, having a range of negative effects on human health and the environment. This finding is consistent with conclusions of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and numerous other national and international scientific bodies. Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic GHG emissions. While the United States limits dangerous emissions of arsenic, mercury, lead, particulate matter, and ozone precursor pollution from power plants, the Carbon Pollution Standards and the Clean Power Plan put into place the first national limits on power plant carbon pollution. The Carbon Pollution Standards will ensure that new, modified, and reconstructed power plants deploy available systems of emission reduction to reduce carbon pollution.

S.J.Res. 23 would nullify carbon pollution standards for future power plants and power plants undertaking significant modifications or reconstruction, thus slowing our country's transition to cleaner, cutting-edge power generation technologies. Most importantly, the resolution could enable continued build-out of outdated, high-polluting, and long-lived power generation infrastructure and impede efforts to reduce carbon pollution from new and modified power plants - when the need to act, and to act quickly, to mitigate climate change impacts on American communities has never been more clear.

Since it was enacted in 1970, and amended in 1977 and 1990, each time with strong bipartisan support, the CAA has improved the Nation's air quality and protected public health. Over that same period of time, the economy has tripled in size while emissions of key pollutants have decreased by more than 70 percent. Forty-five years of clean air regulation have shown that a strong economy and strong environmental and public health protection go hand-in-hand.

Because S.J.Res. 23 threatens the health and economic welfare of future generations by blocking important standards to reduce carbon pollution from the power sector that take a flexible, common sense approach to addressing carbon pollution, if the President were presented with S.J.Res. 23, he would veto the bill.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: S.J.Res. 23 - Disapproving EPA Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified, and Reconstructed Electric Utility Generating Units Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/312128