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Cavanaugh says new EPA standards affecting coal-fired power plants will lose jobs in Alabama

Staff Report

From the Office of Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

Montgomery – Public Service Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh on Thursday said
recently released Environmental Protection Agency mandates aimed at coal-fired power plants
could force industrial prospects to locate in other states, result in billions in additional production costs for Alabama utility providers and significantly increase charges for energy consumers.

“Many of the large corporations, factories and industrial projects that Alabama has recruited over
the last several years located here because the Southeast has historically enjoyed among the most
affordable energy costs in the United States,” Cavanaugh said. “By circumventing Congress and
mandating unreasonable environmental regulations through the EPA, Barak Obama is hoping to
take away our job recruitment advantage in order to help his liberal cronies in the Northeast.”
The Southern Company estimates that full compliance with the Utility Maximum Achievable
Controlled Technology rule, which was announced in December and regulates air emissions
related to coal-fired power plants, will cost between $13 to $18 billion by 2020.

Cavanaugh noted that the astronomical costs required to comply with the narrow mandates could
be passed on to both families and businesses in Alabama and dramatically increase consumer
costs at a time when many individuals are already struggling during an economic downturn.
“Obama could not convince Congress to pass his senseless ‘Cap and Trade’ plan, so now he is
using the EPA to target the southeast with his ‘Punish and Bankrupt’ plan,” Cavanaugh said. “If
fully implemented, Obama’s environmental demands would likely increase the cost of providing
power in Alabama by 30 to 40 percent, and the low, stable prices consumers have enjoyed for
many years may become a distant memory of the past.

“The utility companies will be forced to spend large amounts of money to comply with the strict
federal regulations, and, by law, they are allowed to pass their increased environmental costs to
the customer,” she said.

Cavanaugh added that implementing the EPA regulations will not only severely threaten the
ability to recruit potential jobs to Alabama, but could also drive already existing jobs out of state.

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