The Obama administration's haste to throttle carbon emissions from coal-fired generation is ill-advised and could jeopardize electric power reliability, warns Warner Baxter, Ameren chairman, president and CEO.
"These concerns are driven in large part by the planned retirement, mostly thanks to the EPA’s carbon plan, of about one-third of America’s coal-fired power plants by 2020," Baxter wrote in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal this week. "This represents enough generating capacity to supply the residential electricity of about 57 million Americans. That’s a lot of power being taken off the grid in a very short period."
Baxter argues for putting in place a method to adjust state carbon reduction plans to address reliability issues. He also argues for flexibility for "unforseen events."
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is certain to be asked about the timing of the coal generation retirements and the Obama carbon plans when she is scheduled to address the CERAWeek energy conference next week in Houston.