- Associated Press - Friday, July 4, 2014
Official: New EPA rule won’t affect power plants

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - None of Kentucky’s coal-fired power plants will close because of new emission standards released last month by the Environmental Protection Agency, a state official told lawmakers Thursday.

Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy John Lyons said the average carbon emissions of Kentucky’s coal-fired power plants should meet the new standard by 2020. That’s because 11 boilers are scheduled to shut down by then because of other EPA air quality regulations.

The real concern, Lyons told members of the Interim Joint Committee on Natural Resources & Environment, is an EPA rule proposed last year that limits the carbon emissions of new coal-fired power plants. Lyons said coal plants will not be able to meet that standard and will likely be replaced by natural gas. He predicted Kentucky would have no coal-fired power plants left by 2050.


“We won’t be able to have the coal fired generation we’ve had in the past and it will essentially drop off until the year 2050 we are going to be all gas, given natural gas prices that are in effect right now,” Lyons said.

The rule the EPA proposed last year would limit carbon emissions for new coal-fired power plants at 1,100 pounds per mega-watt hour. Lyons said the best technology available for coal-fired power plants is between 1,700 and 1,800 pounds per mega-watt hour.

“That’s a lot of years in the future, and technology can advance. But at this point in time it doesn’t look like that is an available technology,” Lyons said.

___

Army issues ‘worst-case’ scenarios for reductions

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Army bases and surrounding communities across the country would lose up to 80 percent of their military and civilian workforces if maximum cuts in both budget and force size go into effect at the end of the decade, according to worst-case scenario projections.

The report comes as the Pentagon and Congress are at odds over proposals to trim the size of America’s military after 13 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The new findings, issued last week by the U.S. Army Environmental Command at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, double the projected loss from a 2013 report. Now, in the Army’s “worst-case” scenario, the force would fall from a 2012 level of 562,000 to 420,000 by 2020.

The projections concentrate on the most severe possible cutbacks, and they illustrate the potential fallout for communities whose economy is closely linked to military facilities. The report is likely be cited by opponents of base reductions as a sign of hardships to come.

Posts such as Fort Campbell, a sprawling facility on the Kentucky-Tennessee line and home of the 101st Airborne Division, would lose half its civilian and military workforce - about 16,000 people - and take an economic hit of $863 million, according to the report. At Fort Knox, the iconic Kentucky base that recently lost its only fighting brigade, the civilian and military workforce would be 5,527 by 2020, from 13,127 in 2011, the projections show.

Other installations around the country would see similar reductions, including Fort Drum in New York, home to the 10th Mountain Division, which would take an $877 million economic hit under the projections.

Story Continues →