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Clay Electric’s power supplier fails to slow EPA rule

Seminole Electric Generating Station

Seminole Electric Generating Station

WASHINGTON — An appeals court, last Thursday, denied motions to delay the implementation of a new EPA rule that the owner of the Seminole Generating Station in Palatka claims could close the facility.

The new rule: the Clean Power Plan, is designed to reduce the impact of climate change, and requires a 34-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 and a 38-percent reduction ten years later.

The owner of the Palatka plant, Seminole Electric Cooperative, has said if the rule is not modified, the co-op may have to close the 300-employee facility.

Seminole provides power to Clay Electric Cooperative and eight other electric co-ops in Florida.

Last year, 27 states including Florida, trade groups including the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and utilities including Seminole Electric Cooperative, sued to block the rule.

The plaintiffs also filed motions with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to delay the rule’s implementation while their case proceeded.

Last week, the appeals panel denied the requests for the delay, which leaves in place a September deadline for states to submit plans to the EPA on how they will comply with the rule.  Those plans could include a list of specific plants which will be closed in order to comply with the Clean Power Plan.

The court of appeals will hear arguments in the case on June 2, however many legal experts expect the Supreme Court will ultimately decide the case, sometime in 2017.

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