U.S. EPA Holds Clean Power Plan Hearings, Ohio Chamber Seeks Feedback

In its bid to repeal the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) held a public hearing lasting several days in Charleston, West Virginia last week. The agency’s notice of proposed rulemaking announced its intent to fully repeal the CPP. The notice also indicated U.S. EPA’s intent to engage in additional rulemaking in the future, including soliciting comments on a revised greenhouse gas rule (GHG) that is based on a lawful interpretation of the Clean Air Act.

Affordable electricity is critical to manufacturing-intensive states such as Ohio whose businesses are exposed to global market forces. The Ohio Chamber argued that the rule infringed on the authority of Ohio to create an electricity mix that best serves this need. The comments also argued that U.S. EPA upset the principles of federalism embodied in the Clean Air Act that created a partnership between Ohio and the federal government that led to massive improvements in Ohio’s air quality.

The hearings highlighted a diversity of opinion within the business community concerning whether U.S. EPA should adopt a less stringent rule to replace the CPP. Several business groups argued that replacing the CPP with a narrower rule would reduce litigation and provide certainty for the regulated community. Others maintained that by issuing any rules regarding GHG emissions, U.S. EPA is imposing unwarranted harm to the economy.

As U.S. EPA continues to move to repeal and potentially replace the rule, the Ohio Chamber intends to submit comments prior to the January 16 deadline. Members are encouraged to help shape our position, particularly concerning whether U.S. EPA should move to implement a less burdensome GHG emission rule.

Please contact our Director of Energy and Environmental Policy, Zack Frymier, with any questions or concerns.

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