Utilities Say New EPA Rules Could Result in Higher Energy Bills
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/04/2014
Wisconsin's public power utilities are beginning to comment on this week's announcement by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the state will need to cut its emissions from coal-burning power plants by one-third before the year 2030.
Brian Rude of Dairyland Power Cooperative says a reduction of this size means additional costs will likely result in higher energy bills for its customers. Since coal accounts for almost 90 percent of Dairyland's generating capacity, the company will have to go to great measures to reduce its own carbon emissions.
Wisconsin's other major utility is Xcel Energy. That company develops about a third of its electricity with coal. CEO Ben Fowke said his group is already on a path to reducing carbon dioxide.
States have two years to submit compliance plans to the EPA to show how they are going to reduce emissions.
In 2012, Wisconsin's carbon emission rate was more than 1,800 pounds per megawatt hour of energy produced. The federal government is asking the state to develop a plan to lower its emission rate to about 1,200 pounds.