White House furiously consulting eco groups ahead of expected power plant crackdown

Biden administration officials have consulted a number of left-wing environmental groups as they craft a rule forcing fossil fuel-fired power plants to substantially curb emissions. Over the last two weeks, senior White House and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials have met with the organizations — including Climate Action Campaign, Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Clean Air Task Force and Evergreen Action — to discuss a highly-anticipated plan to tackle power plant emissions, according to federal filings. “Among all of those groups, there aren’t really any energy experts or electric grid experts or scientists. It’s activists who use environmental issues to advance the Democrat agenda,” Daniel Turner, the executive director of Power The Future, told Fox News Digital. “So, it’s totally unsurprising that these are the ones calling the shots.” “It shows who’s really pulling the strings at the Biden White House,” he continued. BIDEN ADMIN PREPARING MAJOR CRACKDOWN ON POWER PLANTS THAT FUEL NATION’S GRID The most recent of the meetings, meanwhile, came Monday afternoon with leaders of the Climate Action Campaign which advocates for federal policies that would replace the current U.S. power grid with one fueled only by green energy sources like wind and solar. The group’s website argues that transitioning to a 100% green energy-powered grid is crucial for “ensuring a just, climate-safe future.” Similarly, some of the other groups the White House has consulted with about its upcoming power plant rule have recently issued policy briefs arguing in favor of a rapid decarbonization of the nation’s power grid. The reports were attached as part of the federal filings reporting the meetings. WHITE HOUSE WANTS TO BOOST GREEN ENERGY IN COMMUNITIES REELING FROM COAL PLANT SHUTDOWNS “To close the gaps between our climate and clean power targets and our current trajectory, and to further advance President Biden’s critical climate and environmental justice commitments, the Biden Administration must take decisive executive action to cut pollution and advance clean electricity in the power sector over the next two years,” states one of the briefs published in January by Evergreen Action and NRDC. The brief advocates for the federal government to pursue an aggressive regulatory framework ensuring 80% of the nation’s grid is fueled by green energy by 2030 and is completely carbon-free by 2035. Another report, commissioned by the Sierra Club, criticized efforts to expand carbon capture technology to reduce emissions. The Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden signed into law last year, included sizable tax credits for carbon capture and storage, an advanced technology that reduces emissions from fossil fuel power plants. ECO REGULATIONS FORCE MASSIVE COAL PLANT TO SHUT DOWN, SPARKING COMMUNITY UPROAR “The results of this assessment highlight how a generation owner might seek to game the new tax credit policy for the benefit of investors or other incumbent interests at the expense of the environment and ratepayers,” the Sierra Club report states. “New tax credits may appear to justify an enormous upfront capital investment to build carbon capture, which favors incumbent generation interests.” “Whether capture equipment will ultimately work as intended, however, is uncertain. Even if it does work as intended, the investment may barely reduce, or even increase, net emissions.” In addition to the environmental groups, White House officials also met with representatives of nine Democratic state attorneys general led by New York and California; the Edison Electric Institute, a trade group that advocates for a green transition; and various utility companies that have installed a large share of the nation’s green energy capacity in recent years. The revelation that top administration officials have engaged with leading left-wing climate groups to craft the power plant rule, comes days after reports indicated the EPA is prepared to issue the most aggressive-ever power plant emissions reduction plan. On Saturday, The New York Times reported the EPA is finalizing the plan which would require coal- and natural gas-fired power plants to cut or capture the vast majority of their carbon dioxide emissions by 2040. The regulation, if finalized, would represent the first-ever federal action curbing power plant emissions. Overall, there are 3,393 fossil fuel-fired power plants nationwide, the majority of which are natural gas plants, according to the most recent federal data. Those plants generate more than 60% of the nation’s electricity, compared to the roughly 14% of electricity generated by wind and solar projects. However, EPA data shows that the electric power sector accounts for about 25% of total U.S. emissions, placing it behind only the transportation sector and slightly ahead of the industrial sector. As such, fossil fuel power plants have been targeted by environmentalists and Democratic lawmakers who argue that emissions must be reduced in an effort to stave off cataclysmic climate change.
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