130th Ohio General Assembly
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H. C. R. No. 9  As Introduced
As Introduced

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
H. C. R. No. 9


Representative Thompson 

Cosponsors: Representatives Landis, Carey, Blessing, Adams, J., Slaby, Young, Grossman, Combs, Stebelton, Brenner, Huffman 



A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
To urge the United States Congress, the President of the United States, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to immediately suspend the Proposed Air Pollution Transport Rule.


BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF OHIO
(THE SENATE CONCURRING):


       WHEREAS, On August 2, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its Proposed Air Pollution Transport Rule (Proposed Transport Rule), 75 Fed. Reg. 45,210; and

       WHEREAS, Under the Proposed Transport Rule, the EPA proposes to limit the interstate transport of power plant emissions from electric generation units within 31 states, including Ohio, plus the District of Columbia; and

       WHEREAS, The Proposed Transport Rule is part of a suite of regulatory actions undertaken by the EPA targeting coal-fired power plants with the objective of forcing electric utilities to abandon coal as a fuel source by making it too expensive for utilities to burn coal; and

       WHEREAS, The Electric Power Research Institute projects that the future existence and viability of almost 50% of the nation's coal-fired power plants are at risk due to the Proposed Transport Rule and other EPA regulatory actions; and

       WHEREAS, The Proposed Transport Rule contains numerous factual errors and incorrect assumptions about emission sources in Ohio; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA used incorrect information in the Proposed Transport Rule to model incorrect effects from Ohio emissions sources on downwind states' air quality; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA used the results of its flawed modeling procedures and inputs to propose overly stringent emission limitations for the State of Ohio in the Proposed Transport Rule; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA received numerous requests to extend the public comment period on the Proposed Transport Rule beyond October 1, 2010, but denied those requests; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA must provide an implementation schedule for any proposed regulation that is reasonably achievable, but the Proposed Transport Rule establishes unreasonable compliance deadlines of 2012 and 2014, which do not provide adequate opportunity to install pollution controls or implement fuel switches for plants that are not currently equipped with such controls or burning low sulfur fuel; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA failed to consider the economic implications of numerous plants attempting to implement fuel switches in such a short time frame, including coal shortages, artificial inflation of low sulfur coal and natural gas prices, legal costs in breaching existing long-term coal contracts, and disastrous employment effects on the Ohio coal mining industry; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA failed to consider the economic implications of pollution control equipment installation, such as construction delays due to limited raw materials and skilled workforce when completing numerous complicated retrofits, the lack of credit for pollution control installations already made under the Clean Air Interstate Rule, the lengthy outages necessary to complete numerous complicated retrofits, the disincentive for retrofit given the virtually nonexistent trading provisions in the Proposed Transport Rule, and the increased cost of electricity to consumers, when calculating the cost effectiveness of the emission reductions required in Ohio; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA failed to protect the reliability of the electric grid by not adequately considering the impact of outages necessary to accommodate fuel switches and pollution control installation within the narrow time frame necessary to comply with the proposed overly stringent emission limitations; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA did not adequately consider the cost effectiveness of downwind states making local emission reductions within their own state borders, rather than burdening upwind states with costly emission reductions; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA fails to allow for significant interstate trading under the Proposed Transport Rule, which will result in an increased burden on coal-dependent states like Ohio, even where facilities operating in Ohio may have adequate credits generated by out-of-state facilities that could ease the economic and timing burdens on coal-fired assets in Ohio; and

       WHEREAS, Individual states should be allowed to fashion a plan that meets the requirements of law in a manner that, in the state's judgment, best conforms to the state's preferences and regulatory policies; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA's use of a Federal Implementation Plan in the Proposed Transport Rule undermines the rights of Ohio to govern the method of its own compliance and is contrary to the provisions in the Clean Air Act because Ohio's State Implementation Plan has never been disapproved; and

       WHEREAS, The Proposed Transport Rule and the related EPA actions appear to be an attempt by the EPA to unilaterally develop and implement a new nationwide greenhouse gas regulatory scheme entirely without the involvement or oversight by the elected leaders of the United States Congress or the involvement of individual states; and

       WHEREAS, The EPA's unbalanced and short-sighted actions have the potential to cause severe economic harm to Ohio and the country through the destruction of jobs, elimination of entire industries, and large increases in energy costs across the nation; now therefore be it

       RESOLVED, That the members of the 129th General Assembly of the State of Ohio urge the United States Congress, the President of the United States, and the EPA to immediately suspend the Proposed Transport Rule so that the EPA can correct data inputs and assumptions in order to address the numerous concerns and incorrect data identified by those commenting on the Proposed Transport Rule, have an additional comment period on the Proposed Transport Rule and all supplemental Notices to allow for a full evaluation of the proposed regulations, conduct a detailed study of the economic impacts of the Proposed Transport Rule and alternatives that includes economic impacts on related industries in Ohio such as the coal industry, and re-assess the cumulative impact of all pending regulations likely to affect the electric utility and coal industries to determine a consolidated approach calculated to maintain the viability of economically sound assets; and be it further

       RESOLVED, That the members of the 129th General Assembly of the State of Ohio urge the United States Congress, the President of the United States, and the EPA to adequately protect the thousands of coal-related jobs in the affected upwind states, including Ohio, to avoid further harming the economies of those states; and be it further

       RESOLVED, That the Legislative Clerk of the House of Representatives transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Administrator of the EPA, the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore and Secretary of the United States Senate, the members of the Ohio Congressional delegation, and the news media of Ohio.

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