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State Officials Express Concern Over EPA’s New Clean Power Plan

Steve Davidson

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality met earlier this week with a group of utility organizations and others to talk about the EPA’s newest carbon emissions plan. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the state has some concerns with the EPA’s goals.

The Clean Power Plan was proposed by the EPA in June and seeks to reduce carbon pollution in the power sector by 30 percent nationwide. For the state of Arizona, the plan calls for at least a 52 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030. This would involve a shift from coal power to natural gas. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, has voiced concerns with this plan to the EPA. Eric Massey, is the director of the Air Quality Division for ADEQ. He says his department’s main concern is the EPA’s mandate that states use at least 70 percent of their natural gas capacity to meet energy demands.

“And, they can make that assumption because many, many people have very stable power, their base-load doesn’t vary as much in Arizona where we see a real big seasonal push to having a lot of additional electricity during the summer months. Over the entire year only 27 percent of our natural gas plants are being used because of the fact that most of those plants are there really to off-set the peak demands we experience during the middle of the summer,”  Massey says.

Massey says that at peak times in the summer, power has to be brought in from other states to meet demands. States have until Oct. 16th to submit feedback on the plan to the EPA.

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