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EEI Welcomes FERC Technical Conference on the Clean Power Plan
WASHINGTON (February 19, 2015) – The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) commends the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for convening a technical conference today to address the compliance implications of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) proposed Clean Power Plan. Gerry Anderson, Chairman and CEO of DTE Energy, will appear on behalf of EEI and DTE to discuss how the Clean Power Plan, as currently proposed, could impact the reliability of the nation’s electric grid.

“We appreciate that FERC is holding this technical conference to discuss the reliability implications of the Clean Power Plan, as well as its impact on energy infrastructure and wholesale electric markets and operations,” Anderson said. “The electric utility industry has a strong track record when it comes to reducing emissions associated with electric generation. We are committed to finding a workable path to achieving the Plan’s proposed reductions, while also ensuring the continued reliable, affordable delivery of electricity.”

Much of Anderson’s written statement focuses on the Plan’s stringent 2020 interim targets. “At first glance, it may appear that EPA’s proposed guidelines give states until 2030 to achieve compliance. In large measure, this is not the case,” Anderson said. “Because of the way the interim targets are designed, 80 percent of states must achieve more than half of their 2030 emission rate goals by 2020. Eleven states must achieve 75 percent or more of their 2030 goals by 2020.”

Anderson cautions that there is not enough time to accomplish the substantial changes in the generation resource mix, energy infrastructure, and market mechanisms required to make the proposed reductions by the interim 2020 compliance date. “The bulk of the emission reductions will require closing coal-based power plants and, at the same time, building new natural gas power plants, natural gas pipelines, renewable generation, and electric transmission. The speed and scope of the changes that the 2020 compliance targets would require are unprecedented and, thus, threaten the reliability of the system,” he said.

Anderson also suggests that EPA’s understanding of the electric system could be enhanced by working more closely with FERC. “Many of the Clean Power Plan’s reliability issues can be obviated if FERC shares its industry expertise with EPA so that the Agency can issue final guidelines that include a more reasonable glide path to 2030 emission reduction goals that maintain reliability at a reasonable cost,” he said. “EPA’s final guidelines must respect how the electric system works and provide adequate time to make the necessary changes to achieve carbon emission reductions that ensure the continued reliable operation of our nation’s electric grid for the benefit of all customers.”

View the written statement here.
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