Kentucky Energy Cabinet issues public comments to the EPA

11/30/2014 05:12 PM

Officials within Kentucky’s Energy Cabinet have made their official comments regarding a proposed reduction in overall all carbon emissions from the Environmental Protection Agency.

In June of 2014 the EPA released their plan to reduce carbon emissions nationwide 30 percent by 2030, with Kentucky’s share 18 percent. Since that time lawsuits have been filed by nearly a dozen attorney’s general — including Kentucky’s.

The comments this week mark the first public comments to be released by the agency on the proposed changes since the proposed rule was released in June.

View the 28 page document sent to the EPA here.

Kentucky officials have asked the EPA to contemplate the economic impact that reducing carbon emissions could have on state’s which rely heavily on coal.

In the comments to the EPA the cabinet seeks for the EPA to include a finalized stance on carbon reductions met through the planned closure of 28 coal fired power plants.

The plants were hit under a previous EPA rule which is why Conway is now taking the issue to court.

The proposed rule released in June did leave how states can cut emissions up to stakeholders, and a 2013 white paper illustrated how Kentucky was contemplating those steps while protecting some power plants.

A green house gas rule is set to be published in June of 2015. Once the rule is printed states have one-year to file a compliance plan to meet the reduction in carbon emissions.

Read the whole statement from the Energy Cabinet below:

“The proposed Section 111(d) rule will undoubtedly have the most significant and far-reaching impact on environmental and energy policy that the United States has experienced during the last 40 years. Therefore, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet comments focus on likely economic impacts of the proposed rule; factors that could affect a state’s ability to meet emissions targets; unintended consequences; and, Kentucky’s ability to have necessary flexibility in determining how it reaches its goal to reduce greenhouse gasses.

More specifically, for manufacturing-intensive states like Kentucky, an increase in electricity costs raises the price of goods produced, harms state GDP (estimated loss of almost $2 billion with a ten percent increase in the cost of electricity), and causes job losses. The final rule should include a “safety net” provision that would allow states that have increased exposure to natural gas price volatility to be able to dispatch their remaining coal-fueled fleet.

Additionally, EPA’s expectation that individual states will have the time necessary to evaluate fully the opportunities of such a complex plan and oversee its development is unreasonable. EPA at a minimum should allow a 3-year timeline for states to submit their plans after the rule is finalized.

The Cabinet acknowledges the input received from stakeholders from a variety of interests. We look forward to working with the EPA as this process advances to insure Kentucky’s environment and economy are both well-served.”


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