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Roberts Defends Energy Production and Cheaper Utility Bills

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today backed a resolution to do away with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule, which will raise electric utility rates and will kill some of our nation's coal-powered energy production.

"This rule could pose potentially devastating implications for our state utilities, rate payers, and reliability of the power grid and without providing any appreciable health benefits" said Roberts. "It's one thing if this regulation would greatly improve the health of our citizens, but the very pollutants it seeks to reduce are already being addressed by a number of other EPA regulations. Coal-powered plants provide an affordable source of power for millions of families and businesses across the country and I will continue fighting for Kansans to keep our electricity bills low and our energy reliable."

This rule, commonly known as Utility Maximum Available Control Technology (MACT), covers 1,100 coal-fired power plants nationwide, and the eight plants in Kansas.

It was proposed by the EPA in March 2011, and would require power plants to install best available control technology to reduce emissions of toxic air pollutants from coal and oil fired electric generating units. This rule was finalized on December 16, 2011. The cost of installing such controls will likely roll over to consumer's utility bills.

The resolution was introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and would disapprove and revoke implementation of the Utility MACT. However, this afternoon the resolution failed on a near party-line vote.

Coal-powered plants provide over 70 percent of the state's electricity supply. The new regulations for mercury and other emissions require power plants to achieve the reduction levels of the best performing 12 percent of the plants in each category. Sources must comply with the strict new rules by 2015, with the option available for EPA to grant additional one or two years of compliance time on a case-by-case basis.

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