GOP seeks legislative fix to EPA, reliability conundrum

Now that utilities and Congressional Republicans have failed to protect our electricity supply against EPA overreach, there’s a conspiracy afoot to protect the utilities from their own failure. This must be opposed.

Environment and Energy Daily reports:

Two congressional Republicans in the House and Senate are considering a legislative fix to prevent energy companies from being fined or sued when juggling new environmental regulations and grid reliability standards.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) are both considering legislative language to address concerns that utilities have raised.

At issue is the Energy secretary’s authority under Section 202(c) of the Federal Power Act to order plants to keep running in an emergency.

Power companies told federal regulators last year that they could face lawsuits and fines if DOE orders them to operate for reliability reasons and forces the plants to violate air pollution rules (E&ENews PM, Nov. 30, 2011).

Such was the case for Mirant Corp., the predecessor of GenOn Energy, which was forced to choose between complying with environmental rules or violating reliability standards.

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