Hoeven Statement on the EPA's New Rules for Existing Power Plants

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of new proposed carbon dioxide regulations for existing coal-based power plants.

“The EPA’s new rules for existing power plants will do little to reduce carbon emissions, but will reduce jobs, hinder our economy and increase the cost of everything, from food to heat and consumer products for American families and businesses. In the first quarter of this year, the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent and millions of Americans remain unemployed, yet the administration has decided that this was the right moment to impose an entirely new regulatory burden on industry, an approach that Congress has already soundly rejected.

“Nationally, the EPA itself estimates compliance costs for the regulations will range from $5.4 billion to $7.4 billion annually beginning in 2020, before increasing to $7.3 billion to $8.8 billion beginning in 2030. These costs will invariably be passed on to consumers and businesses.

“As a coal producing state, North Dakota will be especially hard hit by these new rules. Our state’s seven coal-fired power plants provide nearly 80 percent of our residential and commercial energy needs and provide power to surrounding states in our region, as well. The lignite coal industry in North Dakota employs 4,097 people and their families, and generates $3.5 billion in annual business activity. An additional 13,347 individuals work to support and supply the lignite industry with goods and services, for a total employment of 17,444.

“The way to address emissions is not with a set of burdensome regulations that will prevent investment and shutdown power plants. Instead, we need to encourage and empower private investment that will develop and deploy new technology to produce more energy with better environmental stewardship.”