Hoeven Calls for Rejection of EPA's Pending Utility MACT Rule, Reduced Regulatory Burden on Energy Industry

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven Tuesday called for commonsense regulatory policy so that the private sector can grow the economy and create jobs, an issue of vital importance to the working men and women of the country. In a speech on the Senate floor, the Senator homed in on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Utility MACT rule, the senator’s coal ash recycling bill, and the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline project.

Utility MACT

Hoeven urged his colleagues to reject the Utility MACT rule under the Congressional Review Act, which authorized Congress to review a new regulation and overrule it if the regulation is unfair or overreaching. Utility MACT will require coal-fired electrical plants to install emission controls costing more than $9 billion annually by 2015, with limited extensions to allow companies time to comply.

Utility MACT will force the retirement of 57 of the nation’s coal-fired power plants in 20 states, and prevent the construction of new plants. That means shutting down enough electrical capacity to power up to 56 million homes, resulting in higher energy costs for millions of consumers.

“We can send the EPA back to the drawing board,” Hoeven told his colleagues. “We can insist that the agency come up with a plan that is simpler, more affordable and, most importantly, that is fairer by taking into account the livelihoods of hard-working Americans and their families.”

Hoeven cited North Dakota as an example of how the nation can achieve both good environmental stewardship and growth in energy development.

“In my home state of North Dakota we have a lot of coal-fired electric generation. We supply power not only to our state but to surrounding states as well – Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana and well beyond. And the reality is we’re producing more power, more electricity, and we’re doing it with better environmental stewardship because in our state we’ve created the right legal, tax and regulatory climate to stimulate that private investment that is driving the new technologies.”