PUC Calls on EPA to Pull Back CO2 Rule
The Texas Public Utility Commission called a new EPA law capping carbon dioxide emissions by power plants “unworkable” and an “unlawful intrusion” in comments submitted to the federal government Monday.
“The rule establishes completely unachievable timelines for this fundamental remaking of the power industry, creating great threats to the ability of Texas to manage and operate our electricity system,” the power agency wrote.
Under President Barack Obama’s climate change initiative, the Texas power industry must cut carbon emissions 38 percent by 2030. Last month, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s grid, estimated the law could force the closure of close to half of Texas’ coal plants and raise power rates in Texas by as much as 20 percent.
Of the state’s total power generation, 37 percent comes from coal plants.
Since the EPA’s announcement of the carbon cap this summer, Texas officials have been almost unanimous in their opposition. They are part of a national debate that is pitting environmentalists against a power industry that says the law would force such a radical shift that it could lead to power shortages.
In the 93-page document submitted Monday, the PUC said if the EPA was not willing to rescind the law entirely it should consider removing a 2020 interim goal.
“In order for Texas to meet its interim mandate, approximately 77% of its [carbon] reductions must be accomplished by 2020,” the agency wrote.
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- On December 2, 2014