“What is being proposed for Kentucky is disastrous – disastrous for our declining coal economy and equally disastrous for our very important manufacturing economy. The EPA claimed that it listened to the comments received on the proposed rule for the Clean Power Plan. It is clear from the emissions numbers the EPA has set for Kentucky that the agency did not listen to us.”
Democratic Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear (above) sounds a lot like Mitch McConnell. Kentucky’s energy way-of-life is threatened, and the news is not good for the other states that have grown up using coal as low-cost, reliable fossil-fuel generation.
The new formulation puts an upper bound on a state target of 1,305lb/MWh (for those states with 100% coal generation in their mix). This has jammed a number of states whose rate was higher than this upper bound under the Proposed formulation, namely; Kentucky, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Ohio.
Many states have an increase in their targets, chiefly; South Carolina, New Jersey, California, South Dakota, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon, Idaho and Washington to name a few.
Wisconsin, Illinois, Rhode Island and Iowa remain just about the same.
Already, more than 25 states that have been aggressively supporting pushback on the rule starting with their Governors and Attorneys General:
In addition on the state level, more state legislatures, PUCs and DEQs have offered critical opinions about the EPA proposed rule. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy on PBS Newshour had an illuminating exchange on the Final Rule.
Rural Concerns Too
Rural communities weren’t helped by the changes. In fact, many get hit harder.
NRECA recently commissioned a study that underscores the devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. The study, Affordable Electricity: Rural America’s Economic Lifeline, measures the impact of a 10 and 25 percent electricity price increase on jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 to 2040.
Even a 10 percent increase in electricity prices results in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021 across the country with nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs in rural communities. And 20 years later, the economy fails to fully recover.
NRECA’s interactive map, offering more insight, is here.
Scott Segal is director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council (ERCC), a group of power-generating companies responsible for providing reliable and affordable power to millions of American households, small businesses, industrial facilities, schools and hospitals.