Federal EPA compliance plan could include provisions harmful to industry in state, Peters says

Kentucky’s Energy Secretary Len Peters believes the state should take the opportunity to create its own plan for compliance with new carbon emissions rules because a federal plan could harm industry in the commonwealth.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which sets carbon reduction emissions goals for individual states. Peters noted that the plan is set to be finalized by August of this year and states will have to submit a compliance plan by June 2016, which will be a decision for the next governor (to see Peter’s take on what the next administration should do with the rules, watch the interview here).

In an interview with the Kentucky Chamber, Peters said the Beshear administration believes the state needs to craft a plan for compliance so that Kentucky is not subject to blanket rules put in place by the EPA.

“If Kentucky doesn’t submit a plan, the EPA is obligated to put a plan in place for Kentucky. And as a result, the regulated industry—in this case the utilities—would be regulated by the federal EPA and not be regulated by the state of Kentucky,” Peters said.

As for what a federal plan might look like, Peters told the Kentucky Chamber it is unclear at this point but cap and trade could be a piece of that plan.

“Cap and trade would involve multiple states where your emissions would be capped and then you would have to trade for credits if you produced more or emitted more CO2 than in fact you were capped for. So it would be a normal trading mechanism. If you had to buy credits it would add a base price to the cost of the electricity is being generated. So as a result, Kentucky we have relatively low electricity rates at we want that for our manufacturing industry and if we go to a cap and trade we are going to see increased electricity rates which we believe is not good for the health of Kentucky,” Peters said.

See the interview here:

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Jacqueline Pitts
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