EPA Power Plant Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency’s power plant rule threatens electric cooperatives’ ability to provide reliable, affordable electricity to their members.

Threatening Reliable Energy

American families and businesses expect the lights to stay on at a price they can afford. But that’s no longer a guarantee. Over the next five years, 19 states from Montana to Louisiana are at high risk of rolling blackouts during normal peak conditions. As NERC noted in numerous recent reports, the reliability of the grid is already in jeopardy.

On April 25, 2024, the EPA released its long-anticipated final rules aimed at existing coal and new natural gas power plants.

The EPA’s rule is the wrong plan at a critical time for our nation’s energy future. It will reduce available generation resources just as we are increasing our reliance on electricity to power more of the economy.

Where We Stand

NRECA believes these rules are unlawful and unachievable and will jeopardize reliable power in the United States. Specifically, NRECA believes the final rule:


• Disregards the Law and Supreme Court Decisions: The rule violates the Clean Air Act because EPA asserts vast new authority of major economic and political significance without a clear statement from Congress. This disregards the “major qu​estions doctrine” and is inconsistent with the text, structure and context of Clean Air Act Section 111.​

• Requires the Use of Inadequately Demonstrated Technology: While carbon capture and storage is a promising technology, it is not yet widespread nor commercially available and thus has not been “adequately demonstrated” as is required. There are no units in the country currently achieving EPA’s required 90% capture rate consistently and while operating at baseload levels. Electric co-ops are national leaders in the testing and development of carbon capture. Because of that leadership in innovation, co-ops understand the complex challenges associated with making CCS work at every affected power plant.

• Mandates Unrealistic and Unachievable Timelines: There is insufficient infrastructure in place, especially massive pipeline networks, to support CCS and hydrogen, even assuming the technologies work as EPA envisions. The necessary infrastructure cannot reasonably be expected to be in place in time to meet EPA’s requirements.

• Jeopardizes Reliability and Affordability: The final rule will reduce key generating resources, magnifying today’s reliability challenges with grave consequences for an already stressed electric grid. All of this will occur while the demand for electricity skyrockets as we electrify more of the American economy. In short, the final rules will jeopardize reliability and result in more blackouts, higher costs and greater uncertainty for American families and businesses.

NRECA Stay Motion | May 13, 2024
G&T Declarations | May 13, 2024
NRECA Lawsuit (Petition for Review) | May 9, 2024
NRECA Press Release on Lawsuit | May 9, 2024
NRECA Press Release on Final Rule | April 25, 2024
NRECA Comments on Power Plant Rule Supplemental Notice |
Dec. 20, 2023 
NRECA Comments to the EPA |
Aug. 8, 2023
NRECA Press Release on Proposed Rule | Aug. 8, 2023

Featured Resource

As part of the lawsuit against the EPA power plant rule, NRECA and 10 electric co-ops submitted statements of harm to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit outlining how the rule threatens reliable, affordable electricity. View summaries of these statements.

Video: Real World Impact

Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives and Buckeye Power say the EPA’s proposal creates unrealistic mandates and needs to be withdrawn. Hear why CEO Pat O’Loughlin fears it would force the closure of a world-class 1,800-megawatt power plant and one of the cleanest coal-fired systems in the country.

NRECA Podcast

Hear from NRECA's Ashley Slater and Minnkota Power Cooperative's Mac McLennan about what’s in the EPA power plant rule and how co-ops are working to reverse it.

Header Photo: Brad McLaughlin/Getty Images