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April 22 --At least 110 companies and advocacy groups, ranging from large publicly traded companies to small regional organizations, reported lobbying Congress in the first quarter of 2014 in some form about carbon pollution standards from the Environmental Protection Agency on power plants.
The entities that reported lobbying include unions, industry groups, large private corporations, environmental advocacy groups, public health organizations and electric utilities, among others. Sixty-five of those groups reported lobbying specifically on S. 1905 or H.R. 3826, companion bills that would curtail the EPA's authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
Among the publicly traded companies that reported lobbying on the power plant standards were Arch Coal Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Black Hills Corp., Covanta Energy Corp., Peabody Energy Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., CenterPoint Energy, Southern Co., Xcel Energy Inc., NRG Energy Inc., CSX Corp., Ameren Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Shell Oil, AES Corp. and BP.
Major industry groups that reported lobbying on the regulations include the American Chemistry Council, the American Petroleum Institute, the Fertilizer Institute, America's Natural Gas Alliance, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Association of American Railroads, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the National Mining Association, the American Foundry Society, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and the National Taxpayers Union, among others.
Environmental and public health groups also were active in discussing the regulations with members of Congress. The Southern Environmental Law Center, the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the American Lung Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Earthjustice, the Trust for America's Health and the League of Conservation Voters lobbied on the power plant standards, among others.
Others that reported lobbying on the forthcoming EPA regulations include Koch Companies Public Sector LLC, Americans for Tax Reform and Heritage Action. Several smaller cities, unions and electric cooperatives also reported lobbying on the power plant standards.
Many of the companies reported lobbying Congress broadly about carbon dioxide emissions standards for new and existing electric power plants. The deadline for organizations to disclose their lobbying to the Senate for the first quarter of 2014 was April 21.
Companies lobbying on the rules were identified by Bloomberg BNA through a search of lobbying records with the keywords “power plants,” “greenhouse,” “GHG,” “NSPS” or the numbers of the Senate and House bills.
Of the groups, over half reported lobbying specifically companion bills offered by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Rep. Ed Whtifield (R-Ky.) in their respective chambers that would limit the EPA's authority to regulate emissions from power plants.
The Electricity Security and Affordability Act (H.R. 3826), sponsored by Whitfield, would bar the EPA from setting emissions limits for new power plants until carbon capture and storage technologies have been successfully demonstrated at six different sites for at least a year. Under the bill, the EPA also would be barred from regulating emissions from existing power plants until Congress passes legislation specifically authorizing it to do so.
House members cleared the legislation on a largely party-line vote March 6. Whitfield told Bloomberg BNA the measure would be a “top priority” if Republicans get back the Senate following fall elections, but Manchin's companion legislation (S. 1905) faces an uphill path in the Democratic-controlled Senate .
Significant interest among groups lobbying Congress reflects the broader interest in the forthcoming EPA regulations for power plants. Data provided to Bloomberg BNA showed the EPA consulted with at least 210 separate groups in Washington and held more than 100 meetings at regional offices as it prepared its new source performance standards for existing power plants .
The agency expects to release its proposed rule for existing power plants in June under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. The agency previously proposed carbon dioxide emission standards for new fossil fuel-fired power plants in January.
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