The proposal is taking heavy fire from industry groups and congressional Republicans, who say the rule would block the construction of new coal plants and that the technology required to comply will raise power prices and hamstring the economy.
But McCarthy said the proposal is a “reasonable, cost-effective strategy” and would keep coal in the country’s future power mix.
“Our standards, rather than doing damage, can actually promote the industry sector to grow,” McCarthy said. “We worked strongly with the utilities to understand what technologies are available, and we will continue to work with them over the comment period. … It’s going to get them prepared as time goes on to be competitive in a carbon-constrained world.”