Governor Bevin announced plans on Thursday to not submit a final plan to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan opting instead to request an extension to provide more time for legal review. The Clean Power Plan will require Kentucky to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions from its existing fleet of power plants.
States are required to submit a plan to comply with the regulation by Sept. 6, 2016 or may request a two-year extension. It is expected most states will request the extension. If a state does not submit a compliance plan or is not granted an extension, a federal plan will be enforced.
“My job as Governor is to do what’s best for the people of Kentucky,” said Governor Bevin. “We have had many thorough conversations with stakeholders from all across Kentucky, including ratepayers, utility companies, local governments, small businesses, manufacturers and farmers, about the best path forward. We have come to the conclusion that it is in the Commonwealth’s best interest that we retain control of our own energy future. Toward that end, we are submitting an extension request. We are requesting this extension to allow serious legal challenges to progress through the court.”
In order to be granted an extension, states must submit a request that meets several requirements including input from stakeholders. The Energy and Environment Cabinet will be conducting listening sessions and will public notice a draft document prior to submitting it to the EPA.
The regulation is being challenged by several states including Kentucky and numerous business and trade associations. Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit denied a request by petitioners to issue a stay of the regulation while it was being reviewed. Oral arguments on the case are due June 2, 2016. However, it is expected that the legal battle will continue into 2017.