Senate Fails to Undo Trump Administration Rollback of Power Plant Carbon Limits

Oct 28, 2019


Last week, the Senate voted on whether or not to offer their official disapproval of the Trump administration Affordable Clean Energy rule that deregulates the power plant industry. The vote failed with only one Republican Senator voting for it, Sen. Susan Collins (ME). Three Democratic Senators voted against the measure: Sens. Doug Jones (AL), Joe Manchin (WV), and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ). The vote came as a response to the rule issued earlier this year by the EPA that reversed power plant carbon limits set by the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. The Affordable Clean Energy rule sets carbon limits for individual facilities only, rather than a broader industry-wide goal.
Senate Democrats are now considering overturning another rule set by the Trump administration that would allow coal plants to release more mercury into the air. Though Senators are treading more carefully as once a regulation is successfully overturned by a Congressional vote, the Congressional Review Act (CRA) prohibits the formation of a substantially similar rule. Therefore, it is important that Congress disagree with a rule completely if they seek to overturn it.
ASME will continue to monitor Congressional efforts to overturn technology-related rules and regulations.

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