The 50-50 deal has been under attack in the Senate by smaller Midwest utilities and rural electric cooperatives. They also say the Senate bill should be written to give out allowances based solely on emissions — a formula that would give California just 80.1 percent of the allowances it needs and would give 33 states, including a number in the Midwest states, higher percentages of needed allowances.
Waxman’s spokeswoman said the plan “reflects a consensus recommendation developed by the Edison Electric Institute, which represents the investor-owned electric utilities. It balances the interests of consumers served by utilities that have high carbon emissions with the interests of consumers served by utilities that have already invested in low-carbon electricity generation.”
Glenn English, the chief executive officerof the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said the analysis proves what the group has been saying since this spring about the House bill and the EEI deal.
“What EPA is saying is that anything other than an emissions-based approach on distributing allowances is unfair to regions of the country and creates disparities,” and that it will create windfalls for utility investors. An EEI spokesman said the group has not seen the analysis and could not comment on it.
Mr. English said he believes the analysis will be taken seriously. But he also said investor-owned utilities are going to fight for the 50-50 deal. “What this really comes down to is those people who don’t need the allowances but are going to gain a big windfall are probably putting a lot of pressure on the (Senate Environment and Public Works) committee and their senators, that this provision must be in the bill,”Mr. English added.
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