Co-Ops: EPA Proposals Could Close Plants

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The chief executive officer of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association says proposals from the Environmental Protection Agency could result in the shutdown of Indiana coal-fired power plants. Jo Ann Emerson says some facilities may decide it's less expensive to close than to comply with proposed greenhouse gas emission standards. She says the suggested measures could also cause power companies to decide against building new plants in Indiana. Emerson is in Indianapolis to speak at a state cooperative board meeting. Emerson says co-op customers could be hit especially hard. She says, since co-ops do not have shareholders, cost increases are passed directly to members. The NRECA says co-ops serve approximately one in five households throughout 89 of Indiana's 92 counties.

The EPA is currently accepting comments on the first proposal, which places new environmental guidelines on future power plants. Emerson expects the second proposal, which concerns emissions in current plants, to be officially introduced in June.

The EPA says it wants to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which it says "constitute a threat to public health and welfare."

Source: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency