Obama Carbon Rule Gives States More Time to Comply

Jun 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) —  A regional environmental organization says it thinks the Tennessee Valley Authority will have little trouble meeting new pollution standards announced today by the Obama administration.

Monday morning Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan that will cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years.

Stephen Smith is Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. He notes that in recent years TVA has closed some of its dirtiest, least efficient coal fired power plants. He says TVA has already reduced its carbon emissions by about 20 percent.

“Where this rule is driving them will take them to about 30 percent below, which I think TVA will be easily able to achieve with plans that they’re already working on if they continue on this path, and they continue to make investments in things like energy efficiency and other cleaner technologies.”

Some environmentalists are concerned that the new rules won’t take full effect until after President Obama leaves office. They fear the next administration might be tempted to role-back the new regulations.

Smith says he doesn’t think that’s likely, because a recent Supreme Court ruling gave the EPA the authority to regulate carbon emissions.

TVA supplies power to about 9 million people in Tennessee and six other states.