In June 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implemented the United States Clean Power Plan (CPP) as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. If successful, the CPP will reduce carbon emissions in the United States 32% below 2005 levels by the year 2030.
According to the EPA, “the Clean Power Plan is a historic and important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants that takes real action on climate change (source).”
The CPP’s historic relevance isn’t entirely positive, though. It’s the first-ever federal regulation on carbon emission from power plants, and thanks to federal overreach, it might also be the country’s most debated environmental ruling ever.
Tracy Lester, Professor of Environmental Law and Emerging Technology at University of Houston, Texas, said in a Forbes.com blog post that the CPP rules, “are already probably the most aggressively contested environmental rules in U.S. history (source).”
Missouri is among the dozens of states, coal companies, electric companies, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that have filed or joined existing lawsuits against the EPA. The CPP would cost Missouri consumers an estimated 6 billion dollars — or one-quarter of the state’s annual budget — to implement. That’s not a cost the Missouri Electric Cooperative Member-Owners can afford to pay.
According to Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster:
“Assuming the EPA’s final compliance standard is even possible, it’s clearly not affordable. . .Not affordable for senior citizens in small towns across Missouri, where Social Security is often the primary source of income. . . Not affordable for Missouri’s economy, whose major competitive advantage in the fight for jobs is our significantly lower energy costs relative to other states (source).”
On February 9, 2016, the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review. That’s a step in the right direction for Missouri, but your Missouri Electric Cooperatives know that it’s not enough. We will continue to advocate at the state and federal level for policies that enable us to provide you, our Member-Owners with the reliable, affordable power that you’ve come to expect.