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COMMENTS OF THE COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE: National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants

April 17, 2019

The Competitive Enterprise Institute strongly supports EPA’s proposed determination that regulating coal- and oil-fired power plants under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act is not appropriate.

The MATS rule is an inappropriate exercise of regulatory power under Section 112(n)(1)(A) of the Clean Air Act because its costs vastly exceed its benefits. Once EPA has finalized the proposal, and rescinded the MATS rule’s statutory justification, it should rescind MATS itself or its standards. Terminating Section 112 regulation of power plants would allow EPA to regulate existing power plants under Section 111(d), as it proposes to do in the Clean Power Plan replacement rule. Leaving the MATS rule or its standards in place would make the Power Plan replacement rule unlawful under the plain text of the statute and New Jersey v. EPA. The MATS rule is even more unreasonable than EPA’s current analysis suggests, because the rule’s direct HAP reduction benefits are illusory and its indirect PM2.5 co-benefits derive from an illegitimate methodology. 

Marlo Lewis, Jr. is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), where he writes on global warming, energy policy, and other public policy issues.