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co-op issues


CO2 Proposal Eliminates Coal EPA revisions fail to include new power plants


Kirk Johnson, NRECA senior vice president of government relations, said the proposal’s additional carbon storage and reporting requirements would actually hamper the use of carbon dioxide captured from power plants for enhanced oil recovery. In addition, operational changes by those recovering oil could jeopardize a power plant’s compliance with the carbon dioxide standard.


EPA’s latest carbon dioxide standards would bar coal as a future reliable fuel choice, NRECA finds.


eliminate new coal power plants as a future electric generation option,” NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson warned.


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“The emissions standards require carbon capture and storage at new coal plants despite this technology not existing on a commercial scale at any power plant anywhere in the world,” she added. EPA’s new proposal takes “a reliable domestic fuel with a historically predictable cost off the table.”


NRECA is continuing to urge the administration to reconsider this proposal in light of its potential cost to rural communities.


“Electric co-ops rely on a diverse fuel mix to provide affordable, reliable electricity to 42 million Americans. We believe strongly in our responsibility both to our environment and to members, who often serve some of the most economically vulnerable populations in this country,” Emerson said.


EPA contends that the “best system of emission reduction” for fossil fuel generation is partial implementation of carbon capture and storage technologies. Agency cost analysis assumes that revenue from using the carbon for enhanced oil recovery would make the costs of partial CCS more reasonable.


arbon dioxide standards as revised by the Environmental Protection Agency still “effectively


As evidence of the potential availability of CCS, the agency’s new proposal lists four projects under development and notes that three of the four received financial aid from the U.S. government.


But existing law prohibits such standards based on government-funded technologies, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., told EPA in a letter last November, and asked the agency to withdraw the proposal.


“We still have yet to receive a response to our letter questioning the legality, but EPA appears to be moving full speed ahead with this proposed rule despite the concerns we raised that it is in clear violation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005,” Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said. “We will continue our vigorous oversight of this rulemaking, which has been fraught with irregularities. We continue to believe the EPA is acting far beyond the scope of its legal authority.”


The proposal sets separate carbon dioxide standards for new electric generation from coal and natural gas. EPA said it is not, at present, proposing standards for modified or reconstructed power plants. EPA plans to propose carbon dioxide standards for existing power plants in June.


Co-op members are urged to voice their concerns to the EPA through the Cooperative Action Network at www.action.coop.


SOURCE: ELECTRIC CO-OP TODAY.


Senators Call for More LIHEAP Funding


Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The lawmakers asked that “no less than $4.7 billion” be allocated to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in the president’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal.


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“We understand the ongoing discretionary budget challenges. However, we are deeply concerned that funding for LIHEAP has declined more than 30 percent in recent years,” the senators wrote. “Moreover, the number of households eligible for assistance continues to exceed available funding.”


In fiscal 2013, LIHEAP funding came to $3.29 billion after cuts mandated by sequestration.


In November, the Department of Health and Human Services released some $2.93 billion in LIHEAP money under the continuing resolution that funded the federal government through Jan. 15. Lawmakers still have to come up with a plan to allocate funding for the remainder of fiscal 2014.


“Access to affordable home heating is not a luxury—it is a matter of health and safety,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. "LIHEAP funding is a vital lifeline that helps prevent people from having to choose between heating their home, paying their bills, or going without food or medicine.”


The senators’ letter came just weeks after a group of governors called on Congress to increase LIHEAP spending.


hirty-nine US senators have signed a letter calling onPresident Obama to increase funding for the


Light Post | january-february 2014 | 7


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