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Manchin amendment would block funding for ‘unattainable’ EPA coal rules

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., introduced an amendment to the fiscal year 2014 Budget Resolution today that would block funding for proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations governing coal plant emissions.

By blocking funding, the amendment would prevent the EPA from enacting its proposed New Source Performance Standard regulations, which Manchin called “overreaching” rules that would set unattainable carbon dioxide emissions standards for new coal plants.

“EPA’s choice to hold coal and gas to the same emissions standards is unprecedented under the Clean Air Act, and is yet another example of EPA overreach,” Manchin said in a statement. He added,  “The new regulations attempt to force standards on coal emissions that would not only be incredibly expensive, but impossible to achieve even with advanced technology.”

The regulations could even prevent the construction of new coal plants, Manchin and three other coal-country Democrats said in a letter to president Obama last week. The letter was signed by Manchin along with Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, Mary Landrieu and Joe Donnelly.

“Such a consequence could actually block potential greenhouse gas emissions reductions, endanger our electricity supply, and harm our economy,” they wrote.

The proposed rules would prohibit new coal plants from releasing more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt‐hour, which would require new coal plants to update their technology, according to the Hill.

The amendment is one of hundreds being voted on today in the Senate’s budget “vote-o-rama,” none of which are expected to become law.

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