Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster recently announced the state would be joining 22 others in challenging the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, arguing the plan exceeds the federal agency’s authority that set strict limits on carbon emissions for each state.
Koster announced the decision to join federal suit with other states during a speech at the Missouri Electric Coop’s annual meeting in Branson on October 9 as soon as the final rule is formally published by the EPA, the date of which has yet to be determined.
“The Clean Air act may authorize EPA to regulate source of pollution, but it does not empower the agency to mandate the mix of traditional and renewable energy sources “beyond the fence line” of any given plant. Nor does it empower the agency to override Missouri’s elected representatives in setting energy policy for this state,” Koster said in his speech. “Look folks, I believe that climate change is real, and cleaner energy production is an important state goal, one Missouri’s energy producers are already aggressively working toward.”
Koster noted that Missouri’s energy procures estimate that complying with EPA’s deadlines would cost the state more than $6 billion while generating only $5-6 million and argued Missouri is better off maintaining low-energy costs while continuing to develop low-and-zero emission sources of energy on a more reasonable timeline.
The rules are expected to hit Missouri’s electric cooperative members especially hard because 80 percent of the electricity used by them comes from coal, the generation fuel source singled out by the new regulations. That is troubling to electric co-op leaders because they serve some of the poorest counties in the state, the Lake Sun previously reported.
“We thank Mr. Koster for his support in listening to the concerns of our members,” Nick Seiner, a Southwest Electric Cooperative representative wrote via email. “We also owe thanks to the nearly 20,000 members of electric cooperatives across the state who signed a petition encouraging Missouri’s officials to take action.”
State Representative Rocky Miller (R-124) also applauded the Attorney General’s decision to challenge the EPA’s ruling as he had previously asked for. Miller, who is the Chairman of the Energy and the Environment Committee, said the lawsuit is to stop the implementation of a costly rule until all legal challenges have been completed.
“We got burned once on the EPA’s rule on power plant emissions earlier this year, when the Supreme Court sent the rule back to the EPA, but our utilities and their customers had been forced into spending millions of dollars,” Miller wrote in his Capital Connection newsletter. “Let’s not get fooled again.”
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- On October 22, 2015