Nebraska U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer is helping lead a bipartisan group sending a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s administrator, requesting an extended public comment period for its proposed regulation of greenhouse gases from existing power plants. The EPA is expected to release the first ever greenhouse gas performance standards on June 2. Hastings Utilities Director Marv Shultes says industry officials haven’t seen the standards yet, but he and his colleagues say the regulations could be detrimental.
“There is a very serious concern about a regulation being issued that would be impossible to meet. There is no technology which would essentially shut down all existing coal plants in this country, which would have a significant ramification on the electric industry,” according to Shultes. “Almost 50 percent of the power in this country is generated on goal and if you shut that down, you’d have a severe shortage and a dramatic impact on the country. This would also include the plants in Hastings.”
This is just the most recent development in what’s been an ongoing wave of new standards for coal fired power plants. Shultes says Hastings Utilities is always working to keep up with the new regulations and tighter standards at their Whelan Energy Centers.
“Not only would it be very expensive, but it would be almost impossible to meet because there’s no technology available to help us comply with the regulations proposed in Washington,” says Shultes.
If implemented, Fischer says the new limits on emissions could raise energy costs for American families, and effectively shut down many existing coal-fired power plants.
By Jeniffer Berry, KHAS Hastings