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Missouri electric utilities focus on customers as they review EPA's new greenhouse gas regulations for power plants

Missouri's electric utilities will continue to advocate for customers and the state's economy as they review the highly technical 1000 plus-page draft rule released today by President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gases from existing fossil-fueled power plants.

Missouri utilities are studying the unprecedented rule in detail to determine its impact on the cost and reliability of electricity for residential, industrial and commercial customers, said a Missouri coalition of investor-owned, municipal and rural electric cooperative utilities and organizations focused on the state's energy future.

However, there is little doubt the greenhouse gas rule will increase the cost of electricity for Missourians, who depend on coal to provide more than 80 percent of their electricity.

Coal, targeted under the new rule, is an important domestic resource for Missouri and a key reason the state has some of the lowest electricity prices in the country. Low electricity prices are important to residents and essential to the state's ability to attract and maintain businesses and industries.

Missouri coalition members have advocated for keeping coal in the mix for meeting the nation's energy needs. Missouri utilities have invested in technologies, research and environmental controls and reduced emissions significantly to improve air quality.

At the same time, Missouri utilities have diversified their resource mix, adding renewable resources, and supported effective energy efficiency programs that benefit their customers, electric cooperative members and city governments.

The unprecedented rule sets emissions benchmarks on greenhouse gases. States will develop their own plans for meeting the regulation, which was expected to allow states to use cap-and-trade systems, renewable energy and other measures to meet aggressive goals for reducing power plants' carbon emissions. The rule is expected to be final by June 2015.

As they have in the past, utilities will work with state and federal legislators and comment on the proposed rule, as well as assist state agencies as they develop an implementation plan that effectively protects customers, the economy and the environment.

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Missouri Electric Utilities are Associated Electric Cooperative, Ameren Missouri, KCP&L, The Empire District Electric Company, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Missouri Public Utility Alliance, Missouri Energy Development Association, City Utilities of Springfield and Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities.

David Klindt




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