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Clean Power Plan ruling welcome news for Big Rivers, Kenergy

Big Rivers Electric Corporation, the generation & transmission cooperative owned by Kenergy and two other distribution cooperatives (Jackson Purchase Energy Corp. and Meade County RECC), is applauding a Supreme Court ruling on the Clean Power Plan. In a 5-4 vote announced earlier this month, the court agreed to temporarily halt the enforcement of federal climate change regulations until legal challenges are resolved.

The move is a major victory for Kentucky and 28 other states, plus a number of utilities and energy groups, who have filed appeals to stop the regulations. They believe the EPA’s Clean Power Plan oversteps the law and would be harmful to the affordability and reliability of electricity in the U.S.

The ruling is also welcome news to your power provider. Big Rivers is able to keep electricity rates low by using coal for nearly all of its power generation. Coal is a reliable fuel source readily available in our region, allowing us to significantly save on transportation costs.

The Clean Power Plan will have a substantial impact on coal generation due to its aggressive limits on carbon emissions. If the regulations were allowed to proceed, electric cooperatives, like Big Rivers, would be forced to make costly decisions on whether to retire power plants prematurely, undergo extensive renovations or switch to alternative fuel sources. Any of those changes would cause electricity rates to rise for Members and lead to a serious loss of good paying jobs in our community.

“The Supreme Court ruling to temporarily stop the regulations comes at a crucial moment,” said Big Rivers President and CEO, Bob Berry. “Without the stay, Big Rivers may have taken expensive and irreversible steps to meet the Clean Power Plan, only to have the rule overturned later in the legal process.”

Big Rivers will continue to work with lawmakers and our stakeholders to reduce or mitigate the negative impact this unnecessary regulation may have on your electricity cost.