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Georgia Power hails SCOTUS decision to block enforcement of Clean Power Plan

Georgia Power officials are hailing a decision by the Supreme Court to temporarily stay enforcement of the Clean Power Plan promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last fall.

Georgia is one of 25 states that filed a legal challenge to the plan on the same day it was published, Oct. 23, 2015. The states argue the EPA exceeded its authority by mandating reductions in carbon dioxide emissions at coal-fired power plants.

Two of the company’s largest coal-fired plants are Plant Hammond west of Rome (map), which employs approximately 190 people, and Plant Bowen in Bartow County (map) with right at 400 workers.
The high court’s Tuesday ruling halts enforcement of the new CO2 emission standards until the lawsuits are resolved.

Jacob Hawkins, a media relations manager at Georgia Power, said the Clean Power Plan could affect reliability and affordability of electricity in the state and the company is pleased with the decision.

“This important action provides an orderly and efficient path forward by protecting utility customers against significant near-term costs and preserving states’ authority while the courts weigh ongoing legal challenges,” Hawkins said.

Figures provided by Georgia Power show a dramatic reduction in CO2 emissions at the two Northwest Georgia plants in the past five years.

Emissions at Plant Bowen dropped to 13,668,670 tons in 2015, from 22,997,742 tons in 2010, a 40.6-percent reduction. The data for Plant Hammond shows a 56.6-percent drop to 1,434,069 tons in 2015 from 3,301,071 tons in 2010.

The EPA argues that the Clean Power Plan rules are fair, and designed to quickly address climate change while promoting cleaner American energy.
States would have the flexibility to develop custom rules to reduce carbon pollution.
Read full article at Rome News Tribune