Nebraska Rural Electric Association Applauds the Supreme Court for Issuing a Stay of the Clean Power Plan

The Nebraska Rural Electric Association (NREA) welcomes the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision to halt implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan (CPP) until legal challenges are resolved.

The EPA’s CPP establishes a framework to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants.  The plan calls for a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions from Nebraska’s electric generation resources, placing increased stress on Nebraska’s reliable and affordable electric rates.

Troy Bredenkamp, general manager of the NREA, stated: “With the Clean Power Plan going into effect in 2022 and its legality in question, this stay was absolutely necessary to avoid the risk and costs electric utilities would incur as they move to implement this regulation.”      

As indicated by the Supreme Court’s decision, great uncertainty exists on the authority of the EPA to bypass the congressional process to issue this rule.  Bredenkamp continued, “The EPA has overreached its authority, and this stay will provide time for the courts to rule on this issue before the electric utility industry makes irreversible decisions which could impact Nebraskans electric rates for generations.”

Even without the CPP, Nebraska’s electric utilities have responsibly developed our state’s electric generation mix to ensure an affordable, reliable, and environmentally sensitive power supply.  Nebraska utilities have taken action on their own to promote energy efficiency programs, to modernize existing power plants, and to upgrade our state’s current non-carbon generation facilities which include hydro, nuclear, and will soon include hydrogen resources.