WASHINGTON, DC - Today Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Chairman Edward J. Markey introduced the "Moratorium on Uncontrolled Power Plants Act of 2008." The legislation addresses the largest new source of global warming pollution - new coal-fired power plants that are being built without any controls on their global warming emissions.
"Comprehensive economy-wide regulation to address global warming is coming soon," said Rep. Waxman. 'But new uncontrolled coal-fired power plants are being built today. My legislation says: 'No new plants without emissions controls.' The altemative is senseless - locking in decades of additional global warming emissions and requiring greater emissions reductions across the U.S. economy to compensate."
"If we lose control of coal, we will have lost control of the climate," said Markey, Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "This bill will make companies prepare for the future and prevent them from building low-tech coal-fired power plants before a global warming bill is passed that will necessitate the use of the newest, most climate-friendly technology. "
Without emissions controls, a new coal-fired power plant will emit hundreds of millions of tons of global warming pollution over its fifty-year lifetime. Over 100 new plants have been proposed, and even ifjust a portion of these are built, they will emit over a hundred million tons of carbon dioxide ayeat. One of these plants alone could offset the reductions that will be achieved through the Northeastern states' Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The bill places a moratorium on either EPA or states issuing permits to new coal-fired power plants without state-of-the-art control technology to capture and permanently sequester the plant's carbon dioxide emissions. The moratorium extends until a comprehensive federal regulatory program for global warming pollution is in place.
The bill also bars a any coal-fired power plant without state-of-the-art control technology from receiving any free or reduced cost emissions allowances under a future federal program to address global warming.Many communities are still paying for failed nuclear power plant investments in the 1980s. This bill puts investors and power companies on notice that if they invest in new sources of global warming pollution now, taxpayers won't pay for the costs of cleaning up those sources later.
"It's important for ratepayers and regulators to understand the financial risks if their powercompany wants to build a new uncontrolled coal-fired power plant," said Rep. Waxman. "Those plants will be a lot more expensive to operate when global warming pollution is regulated. Ratepayers need to make sure they won't be stuck with the bill."
Rep. Waxman is the Chairman of the House Oversight and Govemment Reform Committee and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Commitee. Rep. Markey is the Chairman of the House Select Cornmiftee on Energy Independence and Global Warming and a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The legislation and supporting materials are available online at: www.oversight.house. gov.