Tour Independence Steam Electric Station
May 27 2015
NEWARK, ARK. – An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal threatens the accessibility for affordable and reliable energy in Arkansas. This agency’s carbon dioxide emissions regulation targets Arkansans plants for cuts stricter than 44 other states. U.S. Senator John Boozman and Congressman Rick Crawford are fighting against this government overreach.
The lawmakers toured the Independence Steam Electric Station in Newark today. The coal-fired plant is one of five in Arkansas threatened by the EPA’s carbon emissions mandate.
These coal plants provide more than half of our state’s electricity. Our utilities are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to make these plants some of cleanest coal plants in the world, but these EPA mandates would drive up the costs even further.
“Arkansas power plants like Independence Steam Electric provide a reliable and affordable source of electricity. Unfortunately, EPA’s proposal makes Arkansas families vulnerable to higher energy costs, electricity blackouts and job cuts. This proposal is all pain and no gain. According to EPA’s own estimates, it will not impact the global climate. Arkansans are willing to do their part to protect the environment but with commonsense policies. Promoting the use of our natural resources in all-of-the-above energy mix that includes renewables such as solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass along with reliable sources like coal, nuclear, and natural gas need to be part of that plan,” Boozman said.
"From Waters of the U.S. to their proposed carbon emissions mandate, the EPA has an established pattern of creating unconditional rules that don’t take into account the damaging effects they can have on American jobs and businesses or the unique situation of each state. I don’t believe Arkansans can afford to pay more for the same electric services, particularly when those additional costs stem from regulations that demand unreasonable levels of compliance in a short time frame. To promote American jobs and energy independence, we need to make sure all options are available, and the EPA’s proposed mandate would unreasonably restrict a major source of that energy," Crawford said.
“The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas are very grateful to both Senator Boozman and Congressman Crawford for taking the time to see first-hand the operations of one of our flagship coal plants in Arkansas, the Independence Steam Electric Station. The Electric Cooperatives own 35 percent of this 1,678 MW coal-based electric generation plant in Newark, which provides reliable and affordable electricity to Arkansas and surrounding states, along with hundreds of jobs and tax revenues. Senator Boozman and Congressman Crawford have also been instrumental in supporting federal legislation that recognizes the need to allow plants like Independence to continue to operate to support a robust and stable transmission grid along with low-cost electricity for this state and region of the country,” Duane Highley, president/CEO of the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas said.
Boozman, Crawford and the rest of the Arkansas congressional delegation are pushing back against this EPA mandate through legislative efforts. Boozman recently cosponsored the Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act, bipartisan legislation to ensure reliable and affordable energy, curb federal overreach and make job protection, creation and our economy a priority.