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Tennessee Lawmaker Searches For Way Around EPA Rules - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

From: Doug K.
Sent on: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 8:48 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Proposed new federal rules requiring power plants to cut pollution elicited emotional responses from people on both sides of issue.

Critics called the EPA's rules "Obamacare for the air" and said the rules will kill jobs and raise energy prices. Supporters said the rules are needed to combat global warming.

The rules require states to reduce carbon emissions by 30% before 2030.

In Tennessee, that puts the focus on the Tennessee Valley Authority. TVA operates 11 coal-fired plants in the southeast - seven of them are in Tennessee.

TVA has already announced plans to shut down several coal fired units including the entire plant at New Johnsonville.

It's part of TVA's shift away from coal, but it is still reviewing the impact of the EPA announcement.

TVA has already pledged to spend a billion dollars to add scrubbers at the Gallatin coal plant, a move that will keep it open, but at least five other plants will be completely or partially closed as TVA moves toward natural gas and nuclear energy.

The newly proposed rules may force more changes.

House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada of Franklin blasted the new rules.

"It's going to cost a lot of job," Casada said. "It's going to cause our electric bills to go up dramatically and for really no empirical data reason why."

Rep. Casada said he will look for legislative ways around the requirements.

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