Like Causes?

Install the App
TRY NOW

house Bill H.R. 3797

Do Power Plants That Burn Coal Waste Deserve Leeway on Emissions Standards?

Argument in favor

Coal refuse piles are an environmental and aesthetic blight on the communities they neighbor. Thankfully, coal refuse power plants not only remove and clean up those piles, but generate affordable energy. Emissions regulations should do more to accommodate these power plants.

BTSundra's Opinion
···
03/15/2016
If they're cleaning up their mess they should be excepted, and the EPA should be abolished.
Like (23)
Follow
Share
Jake's Opinion
···
03/15/2016
How much more regulation until this industry is regulated into the ground? Until we have MUCH more viable options in energy there is no reason to keep restricting the coal industry any further.
Like (9)
Follow
Share
operaman's Opinion
···
03/15/2016
Sure, why not! Course, they must follow rules governing coal waste.
Like (5)
Follow
Share

Argument opposed

While coal refuse piles are environmental nuisance polluting nearby bodies of water or catching on fire, burning the coal waste to generate power simply trades one type of pollution for the another. Also, this would unfairly advantage coal refuse power plants at the expense of other energy producers.

Bradley's Opinion
···
03/15/2016
Giving anyone leeway on emissions standards is essentially voting against all of the science that states our climate is changing.
Like (104)
Follow
Share
Alexandra's Opinion
···
12/11/2016
Burning coal waste releases harmful emissions that the EPA regulates for human health reasons first and foremost (see: national ambient air quality standards). Providing leeway in any emissions release at a coal power plant states a terrible precedent AND puts communities near and downwind of power plants at risk of inhaling gases and particulates dangerous to human health. Hard "No" on this one, that is if you like to breathe unpolluted air.
Like (45)
Follow
Share
Marissa's Opinion
···
03/15/2016
Another bought and paid for legislation by the fossil fuel industry. Vote them out!!!!!!
Like (39)
Follow
Share

What is House Bill H.R. 3797?

This bill would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide greater flexibility to certain power plants that are subject to emissions limits under the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Mercury and Toxic Air Standards for Power Plants (MATS). Affected power plants generate electricity by burning coal refuse — a waste byproduct of coal that when sitting idle can catch fire or pollute bodies of water — as their primary fuel source, generating relatively inexpensive energy.

The EPA would be required to allocate the same number of emissions allowances for sulfur dioxide in 2017 that have been previously allocated to those plants, rather than reducing the number of allowances. Plants would be prohibited from transferring unused allowances to other entities and would allow coal refuse operators to bank their allowances for use in future years. There would be no change in the total number of allowances allocated to each state under CSAPR.

Additionally, the EPA would be required to allow operators of coal refuse plants to comply with an alternative emissions standard for sulfur dioxide that is less stringent than the current MATS.

Impact

People who receive their electricity from, or work for coal refuse power plants; and the EPA.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3797

$0.00
The CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would have an insignificant cost.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) introduced this bill to ensure that the coal refuse-to-energy industry can continue to provide jobs and affordable energy to coal producing regions, while also remediating unreclaimed mines and coal piles:

“The coal refuse industry has produced incredible environmental and economic benefits in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, Washington’s one-size-fits-all environmental policies endanger families and threaten Pennsylvania jobs. My bill ensures coal refuse plants can continue restoring the environment, protecting health, and creating hundreds of good paying jobs.”

The White House has declared that it “strongly opposes” this legislation and that it would be vetoed if it arrived at the President’s desk because it picks winners and losers in compliance with air pollution regulations, adding that:

“This bill also would undermine the emissions limits for hazardous acid gases… leading to increased health and environmental impacts from increased emissions of hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride, other harmful acid gases, and sulfur dioxide.”

This legislation was passed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on a vote of 29-22, and it’s cosponsored by six Republicans.


Of Note: The regional coordinator of the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation estimated that coal refuse power companies have removed over 200 million tons of coal waste that had covered over 8,000 acres, saving taxpayers up to $224 million.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Jakec - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35080021)

AKA

Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment

Official Title

To establish the bases by which the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency shall issue, implement, and enforce certain emission limitations and allocations for existing electric utility steam generating units that convert coal refuse into energy.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
  • The house Passed March 15th, 2016
    Roll Call Vote 231 Yea / 183 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Energy
    IntroducedOctober 22nd, 2015

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    If they're cleaning up their mess they should be excepted, and the EPA should be abolished.
    Like (23)
    Follow
    Share
    Giving anyone leeway on emissions standards is essentially voting against all of the science that states our climate is changing.
    Like (104)
    Follow
    Share
    Burning coal waste releases harmful emissions that the EPA regulates for human health reasons first and foremost (see: national ambient air quality standards). Providing leeway in any emissions release at a coal power plant states a terrible precedent AND puts communities near and downwind of power plants at risk of inhaling gases and particulates dangerous to human health. Hard "No" on this one, that is if you like to breathe unpolluted air.
    Like (45)
    Follow
    Share
    Another bought and paid for legislation by the fossil fuel industry. Vote them out!!!!!!
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    At some point we need to make the environment a priority. The fear is that what we are doing is already too little, too late. We need to enforce the protections already in place.
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    I'm tired of this special interest ruining our ecosystem and our health. They can no longer make profits at such a terrible cost to America.
    Like (19)
    Follow
    Share
    Emission standards should be uniform across the board. Exemptions only lead to more exemptions until you might as well not have standards at all.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Clean energy means 0 emissions. The world is facing an emergent danger of global warming. You will be on the wrong side of history if you do not move us all toward clean energy immediately. Clean energy creates new jobs new infrastructure & a place in the competitive new world market. If any corporations do not comply enforce the highest taxes fines & punishments including jail time. This is life & death, sickness vs health, prosperity vs poverty.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    How much more regulation until this industry is regulated into the ground? Until we have MUCH more viable options in energy there is no reason to keep restricting the coal industry any further.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    It's not the 1800s. This makes as much sense as subsidizing the horse and buggy industry
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    NO.
    Like (8)
    Follow
    Share
    Burning Coal is a huge pollutant in our environment. I would like to see more reforms for clean energy especially solar power.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It is against my own interest to say this, because I work in the boilers of these power plants. With that said, I can say that these places ARE very dirty, both inside and outside. I can say for a fact that that the emission restrictions are indeed necessary. I have been to, and worked in multiple power plants across the country, one fact is the same. The fly ash produced as a result of burning coal. That byproduct is sent to ash ponds on site where it will sit indefinitely. The EPA is not the problem here. The problem is, that the way we think of producing power needs to change, there are a number of ways to produce electricity. Gas turbines for example, which by the way are being used by TVA are very efficient and less costly for the energy supplier and the consumer. In addition we also have the largest supply of natural gas in the world.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    It's time to shut down the coal industry and build up wind and solar power.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    Would I rather be burned alive or suffocated? How about none of the above.
    Like (7)
    Follow
    Share
    That is the whole point of emissions "standards". If Congress grants leeway to every pet fossil fuel plant in the country, then they are no longer standards, but a joke.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Another give away to coal industry by giving them a way to profit and clean up waste. Air pollution from burning coal is significant and coal burning without eps approved scrubbers should be banned.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Sure, why not! Course, they must follow rules governing coal waste.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Burning coal inflames respitory issues in children and those who already have issues. We should be encouraging companies to move onto more efficient and more sustainable energy sources. These companies can make the transition, but they just don't want to.
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    No. The fossil fuel industry has reaped huge profits by polluting. No, no, no. They create huge messes and walk away with billions of dollars and stick tax payers with clean up costs. Follow the money and see who profits. It won't be we the people
    Like (4)
    Follow
    Share
    MORE