AUSTIN - Today, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency weighs nationwide mandates on carbon emission standards for power plants, Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick urged that coal-heavy states relying on coal for power generation, including Texas, demand flexibility with EPA standards on existing plants.
Texans can weigh in on EPA’s proposed standards from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, at an EPA Listening Session in Dallas at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. Also, EPA is accepting comments through electronic submission at the following website: http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards/forms/carbon-pollution-standards-contact-us or via email at email@example.com.
“I urge all Texans to follow this important issue, submit your comments, and get engaged. Texas must continue to fight the federal government’s war on domestic conventional energy,” Craddick said.
“EPA’s impractical policies are targeted at the very coal-fired power generation that provides Texans with reliable, affordable electricity,” Craddick said. “While Texas is looking toward a future of alternative energy sources for power generation, the use of coal is necessary until further energy sources are able to economically support consumers’ needs in electric markets. EPA must understand that states need flexibility in an ‘all of the above’ energy policy, as states have differing energy profiles based on their own unique conditions.
“In considering power plants currently on the grid, Texas cannot meet a stringent rate-based emission standard of the kind EPA has put forward for new plants rules proposed last month. The repercussions of implementing a one-size-fits-all model will create unreasonable burdens for utility commissions and an impossible regulatory framework in ensuring standards are met without undermining the reliability of current power supplies or causing consumer rates to skyrocket. The price of energy will rise, which directly impacts costs of goods and operating expenses for consumers and businesses. Unrealistic standards on emissions would generate reliability issues for manufacturers, driving them to establish their businesses elsewhere and leading to job losses that states have worked hard to create,” Craddick said.
The Supreme Court last month announced that it would consider a challenge to EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions from stationary sources, including power plants.
“In an effort to stage public discourse in favor of tougher carbon emission standards, EPA has strategically scheduled national Public Listening Sessions designed to gather public input on the issue in urban areas where anti-coal support can be generated,” Craddick said.
Christi Craddick was elected statewide by the people of Texas in November 2012 to serve a six-year term as Texas Railroad Commissioner. A native of Midland, Christi is an attorney specializing in oil and gas, water, tax issues, electric deregulation and environmental policy.