Rural Americans’ Power Bills Could Skyrocket 40 Percent Due To EPA Rules

avatar

President Obama said electricity bills would “necessarily skyrocket” as a result of his energy policies. Rural Americans are about to find out how much.

At least six electric cooperative utilities across the U.S. mid-and-southwest could raise electricity rates up to 40 percent if the Environmental Protection Agency imposes new permitting regulations coal-fired power plants.

The regulations would cost Deseret Power Electric Cooperative (DPEC) $200 million to install advanced equipment to qualify for a Clean Air Act Title V permit.

DPEC is made up of six rural electrical cooperatives that serve more than 45,000 customers in Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Colorado. Rural cooperatives have been heavily opposed to excessive EPA regulations targeting coal plants, which they say raise rates for their customers.

“This could be true if EPA requires us to implement new regulations to meet Title V regulations,” Yankton Johnson, spokesman for Moon Lake Electric Association, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Moon Lake is one of the six rural power cooperatives belonging to DPEC.

The EPA is currently deciding whether to apply Title V permitting requirements to DPEC’s Bonanza Power Plant, which is on Native American tribal lands in Utah.

“This will cost Deseret power approximately 200 million dollars in advanced equipment,” Johnson said. “Should this pass EPA it could cost 6 cooperatives up to a 40 percent rate increase to cover the cost.”

DPEC’s Bonanza Power Plant is a coal-fired power plant located on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in the state of Utah. Environmentalists sued the EPA last in order to force the plant to upgrade to recieve a Title V permit.

In May 2014, environmentalists won a victory against the plant. The EPA proposed putting a Title V permit on the plant — which is open for public comment until June 16th.

“This is a big step forward in holding coal accountable to clean air,” said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy director as WildEarth Guardian — which sued the EPA.

“The Bonanza power plant has for too long put the cost of its air pollution on the shoulders of westerners,” Nichols said.

Environmentalists argue that since the coal plant’s generating capacity was increased in the early 2000s, it needed to get another Title V permit from the EPA to allow it to emit certain air pollutants, like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.

WildEarth Guardians hopes to have the EPA force the power plant to install costly emissions control technology, which would force the Deseret to pass the costs onto its customers.

But DPEC is not the only rural electric cooperative feeling the heat from EPA regulations, utilities have long been worried that federal carbon dioxide emissions regulations for existing power plants would increase rates.

“If they were to establish this rule for existing plants, essentially we’d have to cut our energy production in half, and go out and replace that with something new, and that new would be expensive,” LaDel Laub, CEO of the rural electric cooperative of Dixie Power, told the Spectrum back in April.

“Our other options are gas plants, renewables, other sources, and the wholesale costs are more than double. Plus, you’ve got to keep paying for the old plant,” said Laub, whose utility is part of DPEC.

The EPA proposed rules for existing power plants earlier this week, mandating they cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030. Each state would be responsible for coming up with its own emissions reduction plans.

“Although we limit pollutants like mercury, sulfur, and arsenic, currently, there are no limits on carbon pollution from power plants, our nation’s largest source,” said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. “For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate.”

This would be a huge burden on coal-fired power plants, especially in rural areas where costs must be spread over fewer ratepayers. DPEC currently gets about 80 percent of its power from the Bonanza Plant, which means pending rules on existing power plants could add more cost burdens to its ratepayers.

Follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook


Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

BarbWire Books is pleased to announce

Muslim Invasion: The Fuse Is Burning

Dr. Don Boys

Muslin Invasion: The Fuse is Burning! is an interesting, informative, and for the politically correct and infuriating read. Islam, Muslims, immigration, Jihad, Sharia, and the war against our civilization, culture, and creed is a present reality. Gutless public officials are selling us short either by complicity with the enemy or due to a doctrinaire commitment to idiotic tolerance ideology. Whatever the case, citizens must stand up against the invasion now before it is to late. The author suggests that the fuse is burning and the results will end in a complete upheaval of America and every free nation, unless we act now. Forget the lame stream media. Forget Obama. Common sense mandates, our very survival demands that we act NOW to keep America from going off the cliff; This book promises to be a life changing read.

BUY BOOK


Posting Policy

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse. Read More

STAY IN THE LOOP
Don't miss a thing. Sign up for our email newsletter to become a BarbWire insider.

Send this to friend