FRANKFORT — In one of his first actions as Secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Charles Snavely has filed a petition challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan to reduce emissions from power plants.
Snavely wrote EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, claiming the final rule — known as 111 (d) — is significantly different from the originally proposed rule on which Kentucky and other states commented.
Snavely, who was appointed to his position by Gov. Matt Bevin, spent 35 years in the coal industry working for Arch Coal, ICG, James River and A.T. Massey and he was serving as treasurer for the Kentucky Coal Association at the time of his appointment.
Snavely’s predecessor, Len Peters, drew criticism from KCA over his intention to write a state plan to comply with the new emission rules — although Peters, too, was critical of the final rule which set more ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions.
The petition argues that the goals changed so dramatically that Kentucky and other states were effectively unable to comment.
It also contends EPA failed to do a state specific cost-benefit analysis to determine the rule’s impact on individual states.
“Moreover, EPA failed to do a state-by-state cost-benefit analysis, and these targets were set without considering those state-specific impacts,” Snavely’s petition said. “Sate-by-state cost-benefit analysis will demonstrate that the targets for Kentucky have a devastating effect on ratepayers, the economy, and the standard of living in the commonwealth and other similarly situated states. We urge the EPA to reconsider altering the carbon emission targets so dramatically without allowing for meaningful public comment.”
In an interview with CNHI recently Snavely said the state response to the Clean Power Plan was “policy issue number one. It’s more urgent right now than anything else.”
Snavely told CNHI the rule is an economic issue because “no matter what approach one takes to this Clean Power Plan, it is going to raise costs for electricity . . . and will have an impact on manufacturing.”
Bevin said during the campaign he would not submit a state plan to comply with the rule. Snavely said several stakeholders with whom he’s discussed the issue think there’s less risk to a state plan than one imposed by the federal government but said he’d reached no conclusion on the question himself.
The plan calls for an overall reduction in carbon emissions from power plants of 32 percent by the year 2030, with specific goals for individual states. The goal for Kentucky increased from 18 percent to 30 percent from the original proposal to the final rule.
Kentucky is one of several states that have filed suit challenging the plan.
See the article here.
- On December 22, 2015