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South Dakota Electric Cooperatives Applaud Legal Challenge to EPA’s Clean Power

(Pierre, SD) — Today, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) petitioned the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, a move supported by electric cooperatives in South Dakota.

This rule goes far beyond what the Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to do and will challenge our nation’s electric system,” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of media relations. “These complicated regulations will force cooperatives to close power plants which are producing affordable electricity for consumers who were counting on them for decades to come. Co-op consumer-members will be saddled with higher energy bills as a result of this regulatory over-reach. Therefore, we have asked the court to intervene and recognize the lack of legal authority behind the EPA’s regulation.”

Dozens of generation and transmission cooperatives from across the country joined NRECA in the legal filings. The Clean Power Plan was published in the Federal Register today.

As published the rules will have a crippling effect on South Dakota electric cooperatives’ ability to continue to deliver reliable and affordable power to electric cooperative members across our state,” said Ed Anderson, general manager of the South Dakota Rural Electric Association in Pierre. SDREA is the service association for the state’s 28 distribution electric cooperatives and three generation and transmission cooperatives. Combined, these cooperatives provide affordable and reliable electricity to more than 335,000 South Dakotans. 

Unlike the draft rules issued last summer, the final rules leave zero opportunity for industry innovation and cooperation utilizing a combination of new and existing resources and completely ignore all voluntary efforts to date to utilize renewable generation to satisfy a significant portion of our energy demands,” Anderson continued.

The EPA has clearly overstepped their authority with the issuance of the rules that make up the Clean Power Plan and we will ask the courts to "stay" implementation of the rules until the courts can rule on the very critical and fundamental question regarding the EPA's rule making authority under the clean air act,” said Anderson.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.

 

The South Dakota Rural Electric Association is the service organization representing 28 distribution and three generation and transmission cooperatives in South Dakota. These cooperatives provide electric service to 335,000 South Dakotans.

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