Missouri PSC eyes workshop on EPA’s CO2-control plans

The staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s June unveiling of a power plant CO2 plan in mind, on June 30 requested that a workshop on utility environmental issues be held.

The requested workshop would be on Aug. 18 in the Ballroom (Conference Room 450) of the Governor Office Building in Jefferson City. It would address the cost of compliance with the EPA’s June 18 published proposed state-specific rate-based goals for CO2/greenhouse gas emissions for existing fossil-fired electric generating units, as well as guidelines for the states to follow in developing plans to achieve the state-specific goals from existing fossil fuel-fired electric units. The heaviest impact of that proposed rule would be on coal-fired power plants, with several such plants existing in Missouri.

The EPA will establish the state goal in the form of a carbon dioxide rate-based emission rate (e.g., the state goal for CO2 by quantity of CO2 per MWh of electricity generated), and the state may, for its emission performance level, either adopt that rate or translate it into a mass-based goal (e.g., the state goal for CO2 by tonnage of CO2 emissions), the staff request noted.

In 2011, the commission directed a report on the cost of compliance with federal environmental regulations and in 2013 the commission directed an update of that report. Both times the commission sought the participation of various stakeholders. Offering prior presentations or comments were: Union Electric d/b/a Ameren Missouri; Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) and sister utility KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations (GMO); The Empire District Electric Co.; Natural Resources Defense Counsel; Sierra Club; the Midcontinent Independent System Operator; Southwest Power Pool; and Dogwood Energy LLC.

“Since the EPA’s Proposed Rule on carbon pollution emission guidelines for existing fossil fuel-fired electric generating units was published on June 18, 2014, another workshop would appear to be appropriate,” staff noted.

The staff requested that the commission in its order direct Ameren Missouri, KCP&L/GMO and Empire to make presentations on how they are responding to the EPA’s proposed CO2 rulemaking. The commission order should also invite any other entity, whether industrial, consumer, environmental, or other, that wants to make a presentation.

The staff contact on this is: Natelle Dietrich, Director, Utility Operations, natelle.dietrich@psc.mo.gov, 573-751-7427.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.