TVA cuts in carbon emissions on pace to meet new EPA rules

TVA cuts in carbon emissions on pace to meet new EPA rules

June 2nd, 2014 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

TVA building

The Tennessee Valley Authority is already on pace to reduce carbon emissions from its coal-fired power plants enough to cut greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2030 from the 2005 levels.

Those cutbacks should be enough to meet proposed new environmental regulations proposed Monday by the Environmental Protection Agency, although TVA said it is still studying the new rules. EPA proposed Monday to regulate carbon emissions for the first time and set rules to reduce carbon emission by 30 percent by 2030 from the 2005 emissions of carbon dioxide.

"The changes that TVA has made over the last several years as we have moved toward a cleaner generation mix - our consumers have already paid for this and we have made significant improvements," TVA President Bill Johnson said today. "The question as to the future impact -- we'll have to wait to see the specific details of the rules and remember these are just proposed rules."

Johnson said TVA has no plans to join in any lawsuit against the new EPA rules, although other business groups and utilities said Monday they may.

TVA, which once operated 59 coal-fired units to supply nearly two thirds of its power, has or will close or phase out 18 of those units by 2017. Johnson said TVA has no plans to build additional coal fired units, although coal is expected to continue to generate at least 20 percent of TVA's power for the next decade or more.