DeWine, Husted oppose new rule on fossil fuel plans

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(The Center Square) – A new federal rule on fossil fuel power plants would hurt Ohio’s energy grid and limit the state’s ability to attract new business, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

The governor and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted each signed a letter to U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator Michael Regan opposing the rule, which many think will lead to the quicker decommissioning of operating power plans.

DeWine and Husted also think the rule slows the ability of new plants to begin operation, which lessens the availability of electricity.

“Ohio has had major successes in attracting businesses, in part, due to our reliable and affordable resources, including electricity,” DeWine said. “It is clear that this proposed rule would endanger the availability of reliable and affordable energy in Ohio and other parts of the United States. It is important that Ohio is on the record opposing this rule as we urge the U.S. EPA to pursue policies that reduce the harm to our nation’s energy supply.”

The rule says existing coal-fired plants that plan to operate after Jan. 1, 2039, must reduce emissions by 90% by January 2032. New gas-fired plans and new and reconstructed gas-fired turbine generators must use best system emissions reduction to control 90% of their carbon emissions by 2032.

The rule is scheduled to take effect July 8 but could be delayed.

“Our ‘Made in America’ strategy is at stake with the implementation of these new EPA rules, which restrict the supply of reliable and affordable energy,” Husted said. “Ohio continues to attract major companies, especially in the AI, semiconductor and manufacturing fields that have allowed us to diversify and strengthen our economy. An ongoing concern for our state is our ability to supply facilities with an adequate energy supply, and the federal restrictions and delays will inhibit our ability to provide that energy.”

In the letter, the two said they had met with the regional transmission organization, PJM Interconnection, energy users, and energy producers, and each raised concerns about the reliability of the energy grid.

The letter, in part, reads, “The final rule presents existing thermal power plants with a difficult choice: Implement unproven technology at unknown costs and with unknown technical hurdles or shut down. As these technologies cannot realistically be installed in the timeline set by this rule, they will be forced to shut down. In some cases, generators will shut down well in advance of their useful life and force Ohioans to bear the cost of building new generation.”

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