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Co-ops at EPA Listening Session

December 9, 2013

About two hundred people, including representatives from eight Texas electric cooperative, registered to speak at the Environmental Protection Agency's November public listening session in Dallas. The event was one of 11 held across the country to gather input about how the Clean Air Act could be used to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants.

The agency heard feedback on two basic questions.

1. What should the EPA consider when adopting guidelines to reduce power plant emissions?

2. How should the regulatory framework look?

Opponents of using the Clean Air Act to limit carbon emissions delivered four basic arguments, according to Eric Craven, TEC vice president of government relations and legal affairs, who attended the meeting.

1. Regulation would increase electricity rates for people who cannot afford it.

2. The state relies on coal for energy and jobs, and restricting it would damage the economy.

3. Texas' renewable energy use has reduced emissions.

4. The state would need flexibility to apply regulations.

Proponents of EPA regulations at the meeting said emissions affect health, quality of life and the environment.

The EPA is accepting further input via its comments page at epa.gov or by email at carbonpollutioninput@epa.gov.