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Policy: Environment & Energy

States still fighting for flexibility in enforcing EPA coal regulations

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Beltway Confidential,EPA,Ashe Schow,Energy and Environment,Coal

Power regulators across the country have requested that the Environmental Protection Agency provide states flexibility in determining how to comply with upcoming carbon emissions regulations for existing coal-fired power plants.

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners adopted a resolution on November 20 that urged the EPA to allow states to “lead the creation of emission performance systems that reflect the policies, energy needs, resource mix, economic conditions of each state and region.”

The resolution also states that the EPA’s guidelines should be “flexible enough to allow states individually or regionally to take into account, when establishing standards of performance, the different makeup of existing power generation in each state and region.”

This is the latest in a series of pushbacks from states against the EPA's proposed carbon emissions rules, which would limit the amount of carbon that coal plants could emit. The rules would require coal plants to use expensive carbon capture system technology that has not been tested on a commercial scale.

In October, members of the Southern States Energy Board approved a resolution that supported the coal industry and said they would “keep hammering” the EPA to end its perceived “war on coal.”

On top of that, the EPA won't even release the scientific studies the agency uses to come up with its regulations, which has led to suspicions that the agency is engaging in politics, not science.

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