Both the Energy and Environment Subcommittees laid into the EPA yesterday for proposing new regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants that essentially mandate new plants be built using Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology–an expensive method that hasn’t yet been proven viable on a large scale.

Chairman Lummis (Energy) and Chairman Schweikert (Environment) called such a de facto mandate unscientific, political, and an unprecedented power grab.

CCS technology has not been proven safe or effective and is not operating in any commercial scale power plant in the U.S. – therefore making it uncompliant with the EPA’s own New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). With these proposed regulations on coal plants, Chairman Lummis says the EPA looks to “set a legal precedent for mandating unproven technologies… there is no science behind the “de facto” mandated storage requirements.”

Such an unscientific mandate furthers the EPA’s image as a political rather than scientific entity. Regulations like this one allow it to continue its agenda of, according to Lummis, “picking winners and losers through environmental regulations… based purely on politics.”

As the EPA’s regulatory reach grows, so does its power. The CCS regulation illustrates this, says Chairman Schweikert: “This isn’t about climate change. It’s about expanding Federal power and it sets a dangerous precedent.”