Lawmakers Introduce Bill in Congress to Overturn EPA’s Power Plant Rule

Resolutions of disapproval against the EPA’s power plant rule have been introduced in the House and Senate. (Photo By: Mint Images/Getty Images)

Lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced a resolution Wednesday to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently finalized power plant rule

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Rep. Troy Balderson, R-Ohio, introduced resolutions of disapproval against the rule in their respective chambers using the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers the ability to legislatively undo a federal agency’s final rule. 

 The EPA rule seeks to aggressively limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal and new natural gas power plants. It mandates inadequately demonstrated technology and unachievable emissions limits, NRECA and co-op leaders say, jeopardizing affordable, reliable electricity by forcing premature plant closures while making it harder to permit, site and build critical new power plants. 

“EPA’s power plant rule is unlawful, unreasonable and unachievable,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson. “Under the rule, EPA illegally attempts to transform the U.S. energy economy by forcing a shift in electricity generation to the agency’s favored sources.  

“EPA exceeded its authority and Congress must overturn its action. We urge Congress to pass this resolution and are grateful for Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson’s leadership to reverse this harmful rule.” 

To derail the rule, both the House and Senate would have to pass the resolution of disapproval. If that happens, it would then go to President Joe Biden, who would likely veto it. Two-thirds of the lawmakers in each chamber would have to vote to override a veto. The first vote on the resolution is expected in the next few weeks. 

“With this Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval, every member of Congress will have the opportunity to protect America’s energy future, heed the warnings of our nation’s electric grid operators, and adhere to the precedent set by the Supreme Court,” said Capito, the senior Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in a June 5 statement. 

Balderson said the rule will have “a catastrophic impact” on power generation. 

“Slashing our baseload energy production while power demand continues to climb at historic levels is shortsighted and will have a catastrophic impact for Ohioans,” Balderson said. “This Congressional Review Act resolution allows Congress to step in and reverse the Biden administration’s efforts to practically eliminate all fossil fuel power generation by 2032.”  

Erin Kelly is a staff writer for NRECA.