The rule could also have the effect of preventing existing sources from making major upgrades that will improve efficiency while allowing more electricity generation with less fuel and fewer emissions.
I have requested that the President direct the EPA to amend the proposed rule to differentiate standards based on the type of fuel used.
I have said again and again that the government needs to work as an ally, not an adversary, when it comes to developing our nation's energy policy. And yet, here is another example of the Obama EPA acting as adversary of the coal industry, attempting to impose on the industry new and incredibly expensive standards that are also impossible to achieve.
The EPA provides no explanation for why it wants to regulate coal and natural gas under the same emission standard for the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act. The EPA even admits there is no real benefit. After all, experts agree that emissions from all U.S. power plants have only a tiny impact on global emissions, and this is becoming more evident every year as China, India and other countries dramatically increase their use of fossil fuels.
There is a better way forward, one I have advocated ever since I came to the Senate - an "all-of-the-above" energy policy that effectively and efficiently uses all of our domestic sources in a safe and reliable way.
And such a policy certainly needs to include enabling new advanced coal generation that pays both economic and environmental dividends by replacing old coal units with more efficient, supercritical coal plants.
Now is not the time to endanger those dividends with new, unprecedented and unattainable regulations from the EPA.
Manchin, a Democrat, is West Virginia's junior senator.