Oral arguments in the case against the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon emissions standards for new-build coal-fired power plants are slated for April 17, 2017. According to an order filed Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, arguments will kick off at 9:30 a.m.
The order provides no other details as to what the arguments will look like. No allocation of time or information about which of the court’s 11 judges will sit on the panel for the case is included in the order.
The suit is led by North Dakota and challenges the merits of the rule, which essentially mandates the use of partial CCS on all new-build coal-fired power plants. The rule requires that individual new-build coal units cap emissions at 1,400 pounds of CO2/MWh using partial carbon capture.
Under Section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act, the section under which the NSPS was drafted, the EPA must determine the best system of emissions reduction (BSER) for the source being regulated — in this case, coal-fired power plants. In determining the BSER, the EPA must prove the system selected is adequately demonstrated and achievable.
Petitioners argue that because no commercial-scale CCS projects are currently operational in the U.S., and those nearing completion rely heavily on government funding, the technology is not “adequately demonstrated.”
North Dakota is joined in the suit by: West Virginia; Murray Energy Corp.; the Energy and Environment Legal Institute; the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers; Peabody Energy Corp.; the Utility Air Regulatory Group; the National Mining Association; the Indiana Utility Group; the United Mine Workers of America; Alabama Power Co.; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; Luminant Generation Co.; and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.