State Rep. Trey Kelley, R-Cedartown, recently testified before the Environmental Protection Agency at a committee hearing on new EPA regulations for reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. The meeting was held on Oct. 23, 2013, in Atlanta.
“The reckless policies such as further restrictions on coal-fired plants put forward by the EPA and the current administration have unnecessarily interfered with our constituent’s ability to provide for their families,” Kelley said in a news release. “In the 16th district alone there are thousands of individuals employed by local EMCs, power companies and railroads, who will be directly impacted by further regulation of coal fire plants and at great risk of losing their jobs under these EPA regulations. These job losses would be devastating to our community.”
The EPA plans to hold a total of 11 public listening sessions across the country. The purpose of these meetings is to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the best Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants. Each session will begin with brief introductory remarks followed by EPA listening to public input about reducing carbon pollution from existing power plants.
As a part of his testimony to the committee, Kelley urged the EPA to reconsider implementing further regulations on coal fire plants, such as Georgia Power's Plant Bowen outside Cartersville in Bartow County.
“I strongly urge this committee to reconsider implementing further regulations on coal fire plants which will raise energy costs for Georgia families, result in significant job losses, and lead to an increased U.S. reliance on foreign energy,” added Kelley. “Instead, I would ask the EPA to remove regulatory barriers to efficiency improvements at existing coal-fueled power plants, allowing them the ability to maintain affordable and reliable operations.”
The feedback from these 11 public listening sessions will play an important role in helping EPA develop smart, cost-effective guidelines that reflect the latest and best information available. The agency will seek additional public input during the notice and comment period once it issues a proposal by June 2014.
The Clean Air Act gives both EPA and states a role in reducing air pollution from power plants that are already in operation. The law directs EPA to establish guidelines, which states use to design their own programs to reduce emissions. Before proposing guidelines, the EPA must consider how power plants with a variety of different configurations would be able to reduce carbon pollution in a cost-effective way.
For more information about the Environmental Protection Agency, click here.Kelley represents the citizens of District 16, which includes portions of Bartow, Haralson and Polk counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2012, and currently serves on the Banks & Banking, Code Revision, and Judiciary committees.
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