RESOLUTION 2012 – 05

 NASUCA Resolution Urging the Environmental Protection Agency to Establish Compliance Timelines that Provide Sufficient Time to Consider Appropriate Least Cost Responses so as to Avoid Rate Shock to Electric Utility Customers

Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently issued, or will issue in the near future, a wide range of regulations relating to air emissions, waste handling from coal generation plants, as well as water regulations, which will impact many types of electric generation facilities, particularly coal generation.  These recent, new, and/or forthcoming regulations include:

  • Cross State Air Pollution Rule
  • Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule
  • Impingement and Entrainment of Aquatic Species in Water Intakes (Clean Water Act §316(b))
  • Coal Combustion Residuals Rule
  • National Ambient Air Quality Standards
  • Potential Greenhouse Gas Reduction Requirements
  • Regional Haze State Implementation Plans

Whereas, in order to meet these and other EPA regulations, it is anticipated that the nation’s utilities will have to retrofit existing generation plants, close older coal-fired electric generation plants and develop new supply and/or demand-side resources over the next three to five years;

Whereas, the goal of state ratemaking, integrated resource planning and other regulatory proceedings will be to determine the most cost-effective means to comply with the EPA regulations and to determine the just and reasonable costs of any supply side and demand side resources to replace the capacity and energy currently supplied by older coal-fired generation plants,

Whereas, the development of demand-side resources, building new generation and/or making extensive upgrades to existing coal plants requires adequate lead time for engineering, procurement, construction and regulatory review;

Whereas, utility ratepayers in many states are already facing substantial rate increases due to a variety of factors, in addition to any costs related to complying with the EPA regulations;

Whereas, any compliance costs borne by ratepayers through higher rates will be magnified if utilities do not have sufficient lead time for the development of new or increased demand side programs, construction of new generation, and/or extensive upgrades to existing coal-fired generation;

Whereas, compliance timelines that do not account for supply chain constraints could unnecessarily raise prices; and

Whereas, compliance timelines must not prevent state regulators from having an adequate opportunity to review utility compliance plans to assure that ratepayers are being provided reliable service at the lowest reasonable cost.


Without specifically taking a position on the merits of any of the existing, proposed or future regulations, or proposed legislation related to the regulations, NASUCA urges the EPA and other relevant policymakers to implement such regulations consistently with the following considerations:

  • Compliance timelines must make reasonable allowance for the physical, financial, and regulatory challenges associated with the engineering, procurement, construction, and regulatory review of new demand-side resources, supply-side resources and/or upgrades at existing electric generation plants;
  • Compliance timelines must allow state regulators sufficient time to fully evaluate utility compliance proposals in evidentiary hearings;
  • Compliance timelines must provide sufficient time and flexibility to maintain the integrity and reliability of the existing electric system;
  • Compliance timelines must take into account the impact of rate increases that can result as utilities seek recovery from customers.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NASUCA authorizes its Executive Committee to develop specific positions and to take appropriate actions consistent with the terms of this resolution. The Executive Committee shall advise the membership of any proposed action prior to taking such action, if possible.  In any event, the Executive Committee shall notify its membership of any action taken pursuant to this resolution.

Approved by NASUCA: 2012 NASUCA Mid Year Meeting                  Submitted by:

Place: Charleston, SC                                                                           NASUCA Electric Committee

Date: June 26, 2012

Abstained Votes: New Jersey, Iowa, Massachusetts, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee
Voted Against: Wyoming