NRECA to Supreme Court: EPA Again Mischaracterizes Clean Power Plan’s Impact on Electric Co-ops

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today joined utilities and other allies in telling the U.S. Supreme Court that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to mischaracterize the Clean Power Plan’s true impacts on electric co-ops and other power producers. NRECA and industry partners filed the brief in response to EPA’s claims to the court yesterday that the contentious rule would have no immediate and harmful impact on America’s electric co-ops.

NRECA joined others last month in petitioning the high court through the required submittal directly to Chief Justice Roberts to impose a stay on the rule. EPA yesterday responded to this petition.

“EPA described our appeal to the court as ‘extraordinary and unprecedented,’” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of Media Relations. “What’s truly extraordinary and unprecedented here is the Clean Power Plan itself as well as the agency’s mischaracterizations in an attempt to downplay the immense and irreparable harm co-ops face absent a stay.”

Utility petitioners said the case was “extraordinary” in one other way: “EPA concedes its lack of expertise in regulating power generation but nonetheless has ordered that the nation’s power sector be transformed in a very short time,” they wrote. “EPA not only lacks statutory authority for its action, but also fails to understand (or to acknowledge) what its action is doing to the power sector. As a result, the utilities will be hard pressed to ensure the lights won’t go off.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.