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December 2, 2014

Iowa’s Attorney General, Consumer Advocate Back Proposed EPA Climate Rule in Comments Filed with Agency

(DES MOINES, Iowa) Iowa’s attorney general and state consumer advocate Monday voiced support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to curb carbon dioxide and methane pollution from existing power plants.

In comments Attorney General Tom Miller and Consumer Advocate Mark Schuling filed jointly with the EPA, Miller and Schuling backed the agency’s plan, called the Clean Power Plan (CPP), to address greenhouse gas emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants.  The EPA proposed the plan in June and sought public comments through Monday.

“(The Iowa Department of Justice) supports the framework for CO2 reduction reflected in the CPP and urges EPA to retain this approach in its final proposal,” Miller and Schuling wrote.

In comments filed last month by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Utilities Board and the Iowa Economic Development Authority, the agencies stated, “EPA should give states appropriate credit for all actions that have been taken or will be taken to reduce CO2 emissions or reduce the carbon intensity of the state’s electric generation.

In their comments Miller and Schuling agreed, emphasizing that it is “critical” that the EPA credit states such as Iowa for carbon dioxide reductions, both current and projected, including significant investments in wind energy and energy efficiency programs.

“(The Iowa Department of Justice) has pointed out the importance of EPA crafting a policy under the proposed CPP that credits states like Iowa for deploying proactive policies which have successfully reduced the carbon intensity of Iowa’s utilities and significantly expanded the availability of renewable and non-CO2-emitting energy resources for consumers inside and outside Iowa.”

The comments note that, since 2003, Iowa utilities and their customers have invested nearly $6 billion in wind projects.  Utilities and their customers also pay more than $100 million annually for energy efficiency programs.  “Iowa policy has supported and continues to support significant investments in wind energy and energy efficiency,” Miller and Schuling wrote.

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