Georgia's Public Service Commissioner reacts to EPA pollution regulations
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
Proposed pollution control regulations announced by the Obama Administration today would impact Georgia more than many other states.
The EPA wants to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30% over 2005 levels within 16years, but the target for Georgia is to reduce that pollution by more than 40%. The EPA says that will help fight global warming and make the nation healthier.
States would make decisions on how to reach the goals the federal government sets for them. Representatives from Governor Nathan Deal's office say the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will review the proposal to determine the impact it will have on the state and its economy.
Those expected new regulations played a role in Georgia Power's decision to shut down coal-fired power production at Plant Mitchell in Dougherty County. Nearly 25 people will lose their jobs. Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols says the proposal goes too far and puts pressure on Georgia and other states to build other types of power plants.
"That means labor is going to be expensive and everyone is trying to do something at the same time," said Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols. "It drives up the price. I just wish that we had more time and I wish that the percentage numbers that he gave were a lot less."
Echols says we could see a slight increase in utility rates because of the rules. Both Plant Mitchell and Plant Branch at Lake Sinclair are expected to close in 2015.