Say plan will hurt Kentuckians
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 4, 2015) — Kentucky business and organizations have weighed in on the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 from existing power plants based on emission levels from 2005. Kentucky would have to reduce emissions by about 18.3 percent.
Here are some of the responses:
LG&E and KU
“We are very concerned the carbon emission reduction targets for Kentucky have been tightened even further. Even with more time afforded by delaying the start of the interim compliance period, the challenges to meet the revised goals will be significant.
We fully participated in the public comment process, and we urged the EPA to take into consideration how any necessary changes to meet these reductions could ultimately impact the state’s economy and our customers. We are disappointed by the tightening of the state’s goal.
We anticipate the requirements of this final rule will likely further impact coal utilization in Kentucky and result in an increase in the cost of electricity to customers; however, the full impact of the rule on our operations cannot be known.
Our recent decisions and actions show we’ve headed in the right direction making prudent, cost effective and thoughtful long-term decisions in how we generate electricity that will reduce carbon emissions moving forward.
As always, to meet customer energy needs going forward that might require adding new sources of electricity supply, we will evaluate the lowest reasonable-cost method to reliably meet both customer demands and environmental requirements, seeking approval from the Kentucky Public Service Commission.”
East Kentucky Power Cooperative
Statement by Anthony “Tony” Campbell, president & CEO:
“(Monday’s) announcement by the Obama administration finalizing federal regulations on carbon emissions from power plants is deeply concerning for Kentucky and for more than 1 million Kentuckians served by EKPC’s owner-member cooperatives.
I am concerned about the impact these rules will have on the affordability and reliability of electric power.
I am especially concerned for the people at the end of our power lines. Among the people served by Kentucky’s electric cooperatives household income is 7.4 percent below the state average and 22 percent below the national average. Among the 87 counties served by EKPC’s owner-member cooperatives, 40 counties face persistent poverty.
For many years, because of the commonwealth’s abundant coal resources, Kentucky has enjoyed some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. I am proud of EKPC’s role in providing some of the most affordable, reliable electric available. As a result, Kentucky has a dynamic manufacturing economy that employs 235,000 Kentuckians and depends on that affordable energy.
The regulations announced today effectively remove coal as an option for future power plants, and begin restricting carbon emissions from existing coal-fired plants. This will put pressure on costs to rise. As we move away from coal, there are serious questions that must be addressed about the affordability and reliability of alternatives, including natural gas and renewables.
EKPC and our owner-member cooperatives are committed to doing everything we can to keep costs affordable and maintain reliability for electric co-op members.”
Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
Statement by KAM president & CEO Greg Higdon:
“We are disappointed that comments made by many Kentucky entities on the proposed rule for the Clean Power Plan were given little or no consideration by the EPA. The emissions numbers set by the EPA for Kentucky could lead to significant harm to ratepayers, manufacturers and Kentucky’s overall economy.
Kentucky’s manufacturing economy depends on reasonable energy rates in competition with surrounding states. In our work with manufacturers on energy issues over the past five years, we have seen great progress in increasingly energy efficient practices, which is lowering overall emissions in the Commonwealth.
KAM will continue to support manufacturers by supporting Gov. Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway as they fight this rule in court, and will work with the administration to work toward a Kentucky-specific plan to keep the commonwealth compliant.”