Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning announced the state will be filing suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to challenge the agency’s New Source Performance Standards, which limit carbon emissions on new power plants.
The challenge is based on the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which prohibits the EPA from considering federally-funded projects when determining the appropriate form of control technology. The agency violated that act when it “proposed greenhouse gas standards based on three inoperable coal plants which have received more than $2.5 billion in federal subsidies,” according to a statement from Bruning’s office.
According to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, the EPA considered the expected performance at a number of facilities, including the Kemper County Energy Facility near Meridian, Miss., the Texas Clean Energy Project near Odessa, Texas and the Hydrogen Energy California facility near Bakersfield, Calif. in finding that CCS technology is adequately demonstrated. All three projects have received grants and investment tax credits from the federal government, according to the complaint.
“The Proposed Rule does not attempt to resolve the inconsistency with the Act’s prohibition against premature regulatory mandates based on the consideration of technology deployment at facilities receiving assistance under the Act,” the complaint states. “Rather, the Proposed Rule seeks to circumvent the Act’s prohibition by arguing that ‘many types of electricity generation receive government subsidies.’”
In addition to requesting the court to order the EPA to withdraw the proposed rule, Nebraska is also requesting the agency be prohibited from considering the use of CCS technology at the three projects as a basis for finding the technology is the best system of emission reduction and adequately demonstrated in future rules.