With the Utility MACT’s Dec. 16 deadline rapidly approaching, there’s not much time left to tell your legislator how you feel about higher costs and a worse economy.
A few weeks ago, Behind the Plug ran a short series on five MACT Facts.Take a look at our five posts outlining the damaging impact of the proposed Utility MACT rule.
Now’s the time to tell the EPA to slow down. Write your legislator.
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In a state where 67 percent of electricity comes from coal, utilities are standing up and telling the EPA to take a step back. As reported in the Kansas City Star, Kansas utility Westar Energy, along with KCP&L and Sunflower Electric, said that proposed EPA regulations are coming too quickly for the utilities to react, and that residents in Kansas could see decreased electricity reliability and higher electricity rates. Southwest Power Pool—a seven-state organization that ensures reliable supplies of power—has also told the EPA there is a risk of “cascading blackouts” and “localized rolling blackouts.”
Energy suppliers aren’t the only ones unhappy with the EPA’s proposed rules. Energy consumers in Kansas are also worried, with the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board’s David Springe summarizing the situation for the Star:
“The EPA really kind of ambushed the utility, in terms of the process…Clearly they’re all working toward reducing emissions to the level the EPA wants. In their final order they were really radically different than the preliminary. They changed the mark they were supposed to hit and made it under a timeline that is simply not reasonable.”
“Whether it’s January or 2015, they have to retrofit the plants and rates will go up,” he said. “I don’t know that I’ve seen a full rate estimate, but it won’t be small.”
Kansas isn’t the only state that would see the negative effects of proposed EPA regulations.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) released a report yesterday concluding that proposed EPA regulations “may significantly affect bulk power system reliability depending on the scope and timing of the rule implementation and the mechanisms in place to preserve reliability.” As Platts reports, NERC says that these proposed rules could create “insufficient generating resources” and “threaten the stability of power grids in Texas and New England within the next decade.”
Twenty-five states with both Democrat and Republican governors have already indicated that the most expensive of the proposed EPA regulations, Utility MACT, could be harmful to their economic and energy security. That’s why it’s time to tell the EPA to slow down.
All around the country, Americans are speaking up and telling the EPA to slow down on proposed regulations. The Midwest is no exception.
As explained in an article from Reuters, the Midwest Independent System Operator, an electric grid operator in parts of 12 U.S. states in the Midwest, could be forced to shut off about 13,000 megawatts of coal-fueled generation—a move that would increase energy prices and threaten the reliability of electricity
Clair Moeller, MISO’s Vice President of Transmission Asset Management, told Reuters that MISO and other regional grid operators have asked the EPA for changes in these rules. To ensure power systems stay stable, generators and operators need more time to comply with rules.
“That is not enough time. It takes three or four years to retrofit or replace a power plant. We are worried about the nightmare of 62,000 MW going out at the same time,” Moeller said, noting most of the coal units would not retire but would still need to be shut for months …
In other words, the EPA needs to slow down.