PUC to Study Utility Policy Impact of New EPA Clean Power Plan
August 03, 2015
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will thoroughly evaluate the impact on both Pennsylvania’s utilities and consumers of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which was unveiled earlier today.
“These new EPA rules impact numerous stakeholders – including government agencies and regulators; power generators and utilities; and consumers and businesses,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “As part of the Commission’s responsibility to ensure safe, reliable and affordable utility service, we will carefully examine the potential impact of these new EPA rules on the utility market in Pennsylvania. We are happy to see the revisions to the original proposal, including the ‘safety valve’ feature, which will help to prevent power disruptions.”
“Throughout this process, the PUC has been focused on our key responsibilities, including the reliability of the electric grid and the potential cost impact on Pennsylvania consumers – including residential, commercial and industrial,” explained Chairman Brown. “We will also carefully evaluate how these new federal rules potentially interact with a wide range of successful state programs, including our Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act (AEPS Act), which requires electric distribution companies to draw on a steadily increasing percentage of alternative energy.”
Brown underscored that the Governor and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have the primary roles in implementing the new rules. Additionally, action by the General Assembly could be required in situations where new federal rules conflict with existing Pennsylvania law.
The Chairman added that “the Commission looks forward to working with DEP as well as other stakeholders – including other government agencies, industry and consumers – as this process moves forward toward the creation of a plan best suited for Pennsylvania.”
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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