By the end of the public comment period last month, the EPA said it received 1.6 million comments. Many commentators were experts who operate the nation’s power grid, the electric system that the EPA — with its expertise in hydrology, chemical dump sites and “environmental justice” — now proposes to dramatically transform.
Listening to their reviews of the CPP’s likely impact on grid reliability, my advice is to buy a generator.
That’s because it isn’t just the coal industry that is savaging the EPA’s production. National Mining Association’s (NMA) CEO Hal Quinn, who called on the EPA to withdraw the CPP, pointed out that “a growing chorus of experts — from grid managers and regulators to energy economists and utility executives — has warned the EPA of the costly
consequences for American households and industries from this reckless gamble.”
As these experts look at the EPA’s amateurish production, they’re walking out of the theater, booing and demanding refunds.
Here’s a sample from the most knowledgeable critics:
Southern Co.: “We urge the EPA to withdraw its proposal because it is overreaching and unworkable. It could expose millions of American families who continue to struggle with their household budgets in a future with more expensive, less reliable energy.”
Louisiana’s Attorney General: “This outrageous plan by the EPA usurps each state’s power to create its own energy generating and energy usage policies according to the best interest of its citizens…a perfect example of out-of-control fee regulatory overreach in complete disregard for state sovereignty and in complete disregard of congressional intent.”
Dominion Power: The CPP’s one-size-fits-all approach “creates economic and competitive advantages to those states that have done the least and disadvantages those who have done the most [to reduce emissions].”
Texas PUC: Would “create significant electric reliability problems in Texas”, constitutes “an unlawful intrusion” into areas where the EPA lacks authority and expertise and proposes carbon emission limits that are “arbitrary and unreasonable.” The interim 2020 goal is also “unworkable and unattainable.”
North American Electric Reliability Corp.: “…would increase the…potential for wide-scale, uncontrolled outages.”
East Kentucky Power Co-Op: The plan threatens the co-op “with substantial stranded costs.”
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: “…illegal, imprudent and impossible to implement … forcing consumers to pay more for electricity and use less of it.” — CEO Joann Emerson
Partnership for a Better Energy Future: “ … is incompatible with numerous practical and technical aspects of American’s electric system and would represent a vast expansion of the agency’s regulatory reach into the authority held by states and other federal regulatory agencies.” PBEF includes NMA, NAM, the U.S. Chamber, Farm Bureau and other major industrial and business groups.
Letter to EPA from 17 State Attorneys General: “…forces ‘states to favor renewable energy sources and demand-reduction measures over fossil fuel-fired electric production [by using] the Clean Air Act to override states’ energy policies and impose a national energy and resource-planning policy that picks winners and losers based solely on the EPA’s policy choices.’”
Alabama Department of Environmental Management: “Our comments are extensive, but I can give you the thrust of them right now. This is energy policy, not environmental policy, and its outside of the EPA’s jurisdiction.” — Ron Gore, air quality director
Ogelthorpe Power Co-Op: “…would force us to replace coal-generated elect with price volatile natural gas, reducing our ability to operate our plants in the most economic fashion.” — CEO Michael Smith
Edison Electric Institute: “…would have a significant impact on electricity customers and the nation in terms of the cost and overall reliability of the electric system.” — CEO Tom Kuhn
Oklahoma Deptartment of Environmental Quality: “…fundamentally flawed and unworkable.”
Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency: “…riddled with ‘fundamental flaws.’”
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources: “…seriously penalizes Wisconsin relative to other states. We are very concerned the cost of the EPA’s proposal will threaten our most reliable energy source and damage our ability to provide affordable energy to our citizens and manufacturing based economy.”
Arch Coal: “Now before this current round of [coal plant] closures has even run its course, the EPA is preparing to step on the regulatory accelerator once again with the proposed CPP.” — Deck Slone, vice president of strategy and public policy.
Luke Popovich is a spokesperson for the National Mining Association, the industry’s trade group based in Washington, D.C.