New EPA Rule Will Affect Electricity Pricing and Reliability

New EPA Rule Will Affect Electricity Pricing and Reliability

Not only will the new federal air quality legislation—the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule—cause electricity prices to spike, but according to PUC chair, Donna Nelson, the dependability of the grid will be jeopardized as well.

“I have no doubt in my mind that this rule will result in reliability issues and rolling outages in Texas,” Nelson said at the start of the commission’s meeting Friday.

The rule issued in July by the Environmental Protection Agency (which we blogged earlier about) would require substantial reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide at power plants in 27 states.

According to the EPA, power plants in the state will be able to cut their pollution within the timeline allotted and without jeopardizing reliable electricity service for Texans.

But there’s just not enough time says Dallas-based power generator Luminant.  The company says the industry’s standard time frame for installing emission controls is several years, but the rule requires compliance in six months. If a delay is not granted, Luminant may be forced to shut down some coal-fired plants in East Texas.

PUC Commissioner Kenneth Anderson said Friday that the tight implementation schedule for the rule “will be impossible to meet” and urged that the state agency “file comments with the EPA asking them to, at the very least, extend the compliance deadline.”

The grid has been in a constant state of one energy emergency alert or another due to extremely high temps as well as various power plants off-line due to unscheduled maintenance. So far, conservation efforts have not included the dreaded rolling blackouts. With more power plants coming off-line due to stringent regulations, it will be hard to say if that will be the case in coming months – or if another cold snap hits like it did last February.

Extreme weather and market conditions don’t necessarily mean you have to pay more for your business electricity. When it comes to buying business electricity, Live Energy can help you find the lowest rate with no hidden surprises. For more information, contact a certified energy advisor from Live Energy at (877) 810-7770 today.


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