- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A St. Louis utility company is pushing back on the federal government’s plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/20RNalR ) reports that even though Ameren Missouri hasn’t filed a court challenge itself, the utility asked the Environmental Protection Agency to prevent implementation of the regulations and re-propose new ones. The company also urged Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to join a lawsuit challenging the rules, which the Democrat did last year.

Just in case its legal strategy against the Clean Power Plan falls short, Ameren is also working to develop a plan at the state level to cut Missouri’s carbon emissions.

The Clean Power Plan will require a roughly 28 percent cut of carbon dioxide from Missouri power plants. Natural gas plants and wind and solar farms will replace coal power plants.

“The emission reductions required are extremely significant,” Ajay Arora, Ameren’s vice president for environmental services and generation resource planning, said last week at a Jefferson City conference on the new rules.

He said the final version released last summer is stricter than the initial proposal, and that the rules are “disproportionately hard on Missouri.”

Ameren argues that the company’s existing plan can meet Clean Power targets five years later than the 2030 deadline set by the EPA. The utility says it will cost customers a lot more to speed up a transition to more natural gas and wind generation.

The company has plans to close its Meramec coal plant in south St. Louis County by 2022, but wants to keep its Sioux plant in St. Charles County open until 2033.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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