VIDEO: Capito Explains Why Certain Regulations Prevent Manufacturers from Reducing Emissions
GAIN Act benefits environment and economy
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today questioned experts about the Growing American Innovation Now (GAIN) Act, her legislation that would change the requirements that trigger the burdensome New Source Review regulation.
“I am a proud cosponsor of the GAIN Act, which would reduce the red tape currently preventing upgrades and efficiency improvements that would serve to reduce emissions, especially at existing facilities,” Senator Capito said. “Getting this policy right is essential for realizing a bipartisan environmental goal of this Committee: facilitating deployment of carbon capture, utilization, and storage – which is integral to meeting international climate targets, protecting domestic jobs, and driving innovation and the competitiveness of the American economy.”
Senator Capito introduced the GAIN Act with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), EPW Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), and Senators Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Watch Senator Capito’s full remarks here.
The GAIN Act would:
- Amend the definition of “modification” and “construction” to clarify when New Source Review (NSR) permits are required.
- Enable facilities to more readily carry out pollution control upgrades, energy efficiency projects, and equipment reliability and safety improvements.
- Provide the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator with authority under certain, clearly defined circumstances to require NSR permitting after determination of an adverse effect to human health or the environment.
Read the text of the GAIN Act here.
The EPW Committee has repeatedly heard from hearing witnesses and stakeholders about the burdens that the NSR program poses to environmentally responsible growth and innovation.
On September 13, 2017, David Greeson, Vice President of NRG Energy, Inc., testified at an EPW Committee hearing on “Expanding and Accelerating the Deployment and Use of Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Sequestration.” Greeson described how NRG Energy had to redesign its Petra Nova carbon capture project in Texas to avoid any chance of triggering NSR requirements. This redesign added $100 million to the cost of the project.
On November 15, 2017, Ross Eisenberg, Vice President of the National Association of Manufacturers, testified before the EPW Committee at a hearing on “Promoting American Leadership in Reducing Air Emissions Through Innovation.” Eisenberg discussed how the current NSR program serves as an impediment to facility owners installing more efficient technologies that would combat climate change.
In 2018, seven unions wrote to Chairman Barrasso and Ranking Member Carper about the need for legislation to modernize NSR program. In their letter, they explained, “The NSR program adversely impacts American workers by creating a strong disincentive to undertake projects that can improve the efficiency and productivity of existing utility and industrial plants, ranging from steel and chemicals to refineries.”
The GAIN Act is a companion to bipartisan H.R. 172, the New Source Review Permitting Act of 2018. Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) introduced H.R. 172 on January 17, 2019. In 2018, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment passed the bill.
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