NORTH BALTIMORE, OHIO – OCTOBER 26, 2015 – Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative President and CEO George Walton expressed his disappointment with the recent ruling and encourages his 10,900 NW Ohio members to speak out against the Clean Power Plan (CPP).
Walton says, “The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) plan imposes huge costs and tremendous regulatory burdens on states and utilities but will likely reduce emissions by a mere few percent from what will happen without this costly regulation. I urge our Members to speak out to Congress against this this rule.”
The EPA recently finalized the CPP, which has been called one of the most aggressive and controversial regulations in the history of federal environmental regulation. In Nov., the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), on behalf of its members and cooperatives listed on the association’s petition, will join with other key stakeholders in filing a Petition to Review asking the courts to review the ruling. Currently, Ohio is among dozens of states that have filed a lawsuit against the CPP ruling.
“This regulation is an overreach of authority by the EPA and has the potential to cost Ohio’s electric cooperative Members hundreds of dollars a year on their electric bills while providing little, if any, environmental benefit,” said Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Buckeye Power, Inc. (BPI), the wholesale power provider for Ohio’s electric distribution cooperatives. “It’s in … our members’ interests to protect the reliability and affordability of our electricity supply.”
BPI joined the NRECA and 36 other cooperative generation and transmission utilities in filing the petition to review.
According to the NRECA, the CPP emissions rates chosen by EPA cannot be achieved solely by the coal-fired power plants that are the subject of the regulation. To comply with the CPP, regulated power plants would have to invest in new natural gas, renewable and/or nuclear generation and in new end-use energy efficiency programs. All of which would be subject to EPA review and indirect regulation.
This is not the first time the EPA has exceeded their boundaries. In the case of Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA had overstepped its authority under the Clean Air Act. The justices wrote: “EPA’s interpretation is also unreasonable because it would bring about an enormous and transformative expansion in EPA’s regulatory authority without clear Congressional authorization.
As detailed in the NRECA/utility motion to stay, should EPA’s rule go forward, utilities would be forced to take immediate and irreparable action that will:
- Significantly impair the value of existing generation facilities
- Force immediate, costly and irreversible compliance measures
- Force utilities to incur tremendous costs associated with the immediate need for utility system remodeling
Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative along with the NRECA believes these actions will cause: job losses, economic harm to local communities and significant electric rate increases.
Ohio is joining other electric cooperatives by telling the White House to reconsider the Clean Power Plan and bring forth a plan that considers the affordability and reliability of power generation along with environmental responsibility. More information is available at www.Action.coop.
Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, established April 20, 1938, serves portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties and remains dedicated to the communities it serves. For more information about Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, visit www.hwe.coop or call 800-445-4840.