Senior Advisor Susan Tierney Testifies on EPA Clean Power Plan before House Committees

July 01, 2015

Senior Advisor Susan Tierney recently testified at a hearing before subcommittees on energy and environment from the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on June 24, 2015. The hearing examined a recent report issued by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the costs and impacts of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) proposed Clean Power Plan, which intends to reduce CO2 emissions from the U.S. electric system. Dr. Tierney was joined at the hearing by several other witnesses from the EIA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Heritage Foundation.

In her testimony, Dr. Tierney assessed the EIA report and noted several caveats that should be taken into account, including that its forecasting model does not incorporate various benefits of the Clean Power Plan, such as improved health, reduced health care costs, and mitigated impacts and costs related to climate change. She also argued that long-term forecasts, such as the one conducted by EIA, tend to overstate costs and understate the impact of disruptive technologies.

In her own assessment of the Clean Power Plan, Dr. Tierney noted that, "[f]ortunately, the EPA's proposed regulation allows flexibility that states will be able to use to minimize impacts on consumers and maintain a reliable electric system. Based on studies I have coauthored, I believe that the impacts on electricity rates from well-designed carbon-pollution control programs will be modest in the near term, and can be accompanied by long-term benefits in the form of lower electricity bills and positive economic value to state and regional economies."

Read Dr. Tierney's testimony

Read more about the hearing and view the webcast