Industry Groups Vow Court Fight Over More Stringent EPA Clean Power Plan

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In the video above, MetalMiner highlights the US steel industry’s concerns about EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

A US mining industry association said today it was considering legal action in response to tighter greenhouse gas rules unveiled by the Obama administration.

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The final version of the EPA Clean Power Plan, envisioned last year, sets a goal of cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, by 32% of their 2005 baseline by 2030, 9% more than in the original proposal.

The Clean Power Plan would require states to meet specific emission reductions based on state-by-state energy consumption criteria. National Mining Association President and Chief Executive Officer Hal Quinn said the onus rests with state governors, who can choose between accepting a “flawed plan” or rejecting the EPA’s mandate.

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“NMA filed a request today with EPA to stay the rule while the courts have the opportunity to determine the lawfulness of the agency’s attempt to commandeer the nation’s electric grid,” he said in a statement. “If EPA denies our request we will ask the courts to do so.”

The American Iron and Steel Institute also warned that the regulations would put US steel producers at a competitive disadvantage.

“This rule puts the affordability and reliability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “The leading steel producing states in the US are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production. This rule will have a disproportionate impact on coal-fired utilities and, in turn, impede economic growth for steelmakers.”

Gibson added that the steel industry competes with steel producers in countries where energy costs are often subsidized. He said, therefore, “Limitations on CO2 emissions instituted in the US must also apply at the same level of stringency to other major steel producing nations, such as China. Otherwise, steel production and manufacturing jobs will shift to other nations with higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Metals Service Center Institute also released a statement saying the rule would create larger energy costs for consumers.

“While we appreciate the EPA’s efforts to give industry and US states more time to comply with this rule, the agency also significantly altered the emissions reduction targets and other major parts of the proposed rule it offered last year,” the MSCI statement read. “Studies showed that the earlier proposal would have increased consumer energy costs and made US businesses less competitive on the global stage. It’s likely this final regulation will have an even greater negative impact on families and job creators and, for this reason, MSCI will fully support efforts to challenge this rule in the US courts.”

For Now, Here’s How MFRs Can Best Prepare for Compliance:

EPAwebinarlogoFor a complete educational experience on the main concerns highlighted above – including best practices for procurement/purchasing professionals dealing with regulatory risks such as those posed by EPA’s CPP – please register for our free interactive video program, “What EPA’s Clean Power Plan Could Cost US Businesses (and What Procurement Can Do About It).”

Register for the recording here, and we’ll send it to you.

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