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Last Day to Voice Concerns Over Proposed EPA Rule that Threatens Affordable, Reliable Electricity

EPA’s Proposed Carbon Regulations

SUBMITTED – 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed carbon dioxide rule will raise electricity rates and threaten electric system reliability.

Make your voice heard. Contact EPA and Congress.

Under its “Clean Power Plan,” the EPA’s goal is to reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030. However, the EPA’s individual targets for some states are disproportionately higher – 45% for Arkansas, 40% for Louisiana, and 39% for Texas.

The EPA’s analysis assumes the retirement or scaled-back operations of ALL of SWEPCO’s most cost-effective and reliable 24/7 power plants. The plan does not allow sufficient time to plan for replacement generation or transmission facilities. Ultimately, the replacement facilities and increased use of higher-priced alternate fuels will mean higher electricity costs – for individuals, businesses and communities.

SWEPCO and its parent company, American Electric Power (AEP), are participating fully in the federal and state processes to protect customers and reliability of the electric grid.

SWEPCO’S Concerns:

• EPA’s proposed rule poses significant potential impacts on the reliability and cost of electricity for customers

• EPA proposes emissions rate reductions in states served by SWEPCO that far exceed the nationwide target of 30%:

• Arkansas – 45%

• Louisiana – 40%

• Texas – 39%

• EPA’s analysis assumes the shutdown or scaled-back operations of ALL of SWEPCO’s most cost-effective and reliable 24/7 power plants. The analysis assumes the following:

• Shutdown of more than two-thirds of SWEPCO’s 24/7 base load generation by 2020, including all coal- and lignite-fueled plants in East Texas

• Scaled-back operations of all remaining 24/7 base load generation, including all coal- and lignite- fueled plants in Arkansas and Louisiana

• Shutdown or reduced use of plants in which SWEPCO and plant co-owners are investing $900 million to install environmental controls to meet existing EPA regulations

• Under EPA’s aggressive compliance time line, a majority of the reductions would be required by 2020 – less than two years after state-level compliance plans would be finalized. The time line does not allow adequate time for the planning, siting, permitting and construction required for replacement generation and transmission.

• Higher-cost replacement generation and transmission needed to maintain reliability will ultimately increase the price of electricity.

• EPA significantly overestimates the possible increases in coal-fueled power plant efficiency and the ability of natural gas-fueled plants to run at up to 70 capacity factors. EPA’s plan also assumes renewable energy expansion and customer energy efficiency increases that are well above achievable levels.

Contact the EPA to voice your concerns.

Summary of EPA’s Proposal:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

Under its “Clean Power Plan,” EPA’s goal is reduce CO2 emissions 30% by 2030. The plans set individual state-specific goals. The rule sets interim goals starting in 2020.

EPA proposes that each state develop a plan to meet its assigned goal with a combination of four “building blocks”:

• Heat rate improvement of 6% for coal-fueled power plants

• Change in dispatch from coal to natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants at up to 70% capacity factor

• Expand renewable generation, including wind and solar, and use new/existing nuclear generation

• Increased demand-side energy efficiency by 1.5% annually

The rule was proposed on June 2, 2014. Public comment will be accepted through Dec. 1, 2014.

The final rule is due by June 2015. States must submit their plans by June 2016, with possible extensions to 2017 or 2018. Compliance begins in 2020.

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