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Ohio's electric cooperatives challenge EPA's Clean Power Plan

Buckeye Power joined with other cooperative utilities in petitioning the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.on Friday, Oct. 23.

“This regulation is an overreach of authority by the EPA and has the potential to cost Ohio’s electric cooperative members hundreds of dollars a year on their electric bills while providing little, if any, environmental benefit,” said Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Buckeye Power, the wholesale power provider for Ohio’s member-owned electric distribution cooperatives, including Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative of Wellington. “It’s in our interest and our members’ interests to protect the reliability and affordability of our electricity supply.”

Buckeye challenges the legality of this plan because the EPA reads the Clean Air Act to give the agency much broader authority over the energy sector than it has ever had in the past. Prior EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act have required emissions reductions that could be achieved only by changes to individual power plants. Buckeye Power and its members believe these regulations are unlawful because they seek emission reductions by regulating the entire electric industry as opposed to individual plants.  

Electric cooperatives are also asking the courts to stay this rule until the courts have ruled on the legal authority of the EPA to implement these regulations. Earlier this summer the Supreme Court overturned the mercury rule after years of legal fighting. Because there was no stay from the courts, utilities were forced to shut down power plants prematurely. And, recently, the Supreme Court stayed the Waters of the U.S. rule citing uncertainty about the new rule’s requirements.

“Delaying this rule is the common sense approach,” said O’Loughlin.

Buckeye Power joined the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and 36 other cooperative generation and transmission utilities in filing the petition to review.

Buckeye Power joined with other cooperative utilities in petitioning the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“This regulation is an overreach of authority by the EPA and has the potential to cost Ohio’s electric cooperative members hundreds of dollars a year on their electric bills while providing little, if any, environmental benefit,” said Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Buckeye Power, the wholesale power provider for Ohio’s member-owned electric distribution cooperatives, including Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative of Wellington. “It’s in our interest and our members’ interests to protect the reliability and affordability of our electricity supply.”

Buckeye challenges the legality of this plan because the EPA reads the Clean Air Act to give the agency much broader authority over the energy sector than it has ever had in the past. Prior EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act have required emissions reductions that could be achieved only by changes to individual power plants. Buckeye Power and its members believe these regulations are unlawful because they seek emission reductions by regulating the entire electric industry as opposed to individual plants.  

Electric cooperatives are also asking the courts to stay this rule until the courts have ruled on the legal authority of the EPA to implement these regulations. Earlier this summer the Supreme Court overturned the mercury rule after years of legal fighting. Because there was no stay from the courts, utilities were forced to shut down power plants prematurely. And, recently, the Supreme Court stayed the Waters of the U.S. rule citing uncertainty about the new rule’s requirements.

“Delaying this rule is the common sense approach,” said O’Loughlin.

Buckeye Power joined the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and 36 other cooperative generation and transmission utilities in filing the petition to review.

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