EPA rolls out new plan for energy regulations, but some have concerns

08/24/2018 07:40 PM

As the Environmental Protection Agency rolls out its new plan for energy regulations, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler toured parts of Kentucky to talk about the plan, but not everybody is happy about the proposed changes.

With a Tesla in front and solar panels on her house, there’s no question that Sarah Lynn Cunningham supports green living. “I really care about the environment and I really care about public health. Those are permanently tied together. We can’t have health if we don’t take care of the environment and frankly I think it’s good for the economy,” Cunningham said passionately.
The Louisville native serves as the Climate Change Task Force Leader for the Sierra Club of Kentucky and she was upset when she heard the EPA plans to roll back many Obama ere regulations designed to fight global warming by requiring utilities to sweet to greener power sources. She said, “I mean, frankly I would call it the dirty power plan. I think it’s terrible and frankly, I don’t think it’s legal. The US Supreme Court, even with the current judges in place, which are relatively conservative- that supreme court has ruled three times that the EPA must regulate greenhouse gases to protect public health and safety. So the fact that this bill, this program, whatever they’re calling this charade, allows each state to decide what they want to do and ignore greenhouse gas and lots of other important things that protect public health, I don’t think it’s legal.”
Tuesday, the EPA revealed its new plan called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule .
It gives states emission guidelines to use when they are making plans for how to limit greenhouse gases at coal fired utility plants, however it allows each state to make its own plan for pollution regulation.
The United States Energy Information Administration calculated that last year 79 percent of Kentucky’s energy generation was coal fired.
That’s why Congressman Andy Barr says this is a good plan for Kentucky.
The 6th District Congressman remarked, “I appreciate the Administration and this EPA issuing a new more workable that will ensure electric grid reliability, that will ensure affordable energy and that will allow the United States to continue to make advancements to our environment but do so in a way that makes sense for consumers of electricity.
However, the flip side of that is that there will likely be more pollution.
The EPA’s analysis of the plan showed that it could lead to as many as 1,400 premature deaths each year by 2030 and also up to 15 thousand new cases of upper respiratory problems because of fine particulate matter that is linked to heart and lung disease.
When asked about that, EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler tried to walk back his office’s calculations. “The air quality is 73 percent better than the 1970s. The regulations that got us to that point are still in effect. They’ll still be in effect tomorrow. They’ll still be in effect next year, and those are the health based air standards. Nothing has been done to impact those. This is just about [carbon dioxide].”
Just 6 years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council ranked Kentucky at the top of a list of states with the worst air pollution.

The EPA is currently in a 60 day comment period about the plan.
Cunningham is worried if the plan goes through, the sky will go from blue to black.


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