Bossier Chamber Host Symposium on EPA Regulations
The Bossier Chamber of Commerce hosted “The EPA Regulatory Train Wreck and You” seminar today at Ralph and Kacoos from 11:30am to 1pm. The symposium focused on the impact of EPA regulations, in terms of increased rates and decreased reliability that will go into effect next year. Utilities across the country will begin to shut down power plants as early as next summer because the compliance timelines are impossible to meet and the technology to retrofit plants does not exist. The alternative for utilities is to shut down the effected power plants or face stiff penalties from the EPA.
Dr. David Dismukes, LSU Center for Energy Studies, discussed significant rate increases that will occur across our state because of these regulations--as utilities retrofit existing plants or build transmission lines to bring in power from outside the state. As utilities will not have time to build transmission lines or install the required emissions technology, blackouts are a real possibility throughout the US--including Louisiana.
Paul Miller, Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality, talked about the numerous conversations the state Dept. of Environmental Quality has had with the EPA--trying to convince them of the harm these regulations will have to Louisiana. They have asked the EPA to push back the timelines for the rules so that utilities will have time to comply. They strongly feel that the EPA's analysis and methodology in developing the rules were flawed.
Brian Bond, VP of External Affairs for SWEPCO, discussed the possibility that rates to SWEPCO customers will increase up to 25-percent because of the regulations. Many of the utilities across the country have joined with the IBEW and other labor unions to push bipartisan legislation by Senator Joe Manchin(D) of West Virginia and Senator Dan Coats(R) of Indiana that will push back the implementation of these rules to January 1, 2017--giving utilities time to comply. Senator Mary Landrieu has agreed to be a co-sponsor. Labor unions are concerned about the thousands of jobs that will be lost by all of the power plants being forced to shut down.
About 40 people attended today’s seminar. The Bossier Chamber of Commerce will continue to follow the issue.
Download Presentations Here: