Columbia power plants react to proposed rules from Obama administration

Jun 2, 2014

MU power plan communications manager Karlan Seville said the university has already reduced their emissions by 28 percent since 2008 and will be reducing coal use 75 percent by 2018.
Credit machinecodeblue via Flickr

The Obama Administration unveiled new proposed rules for power plants on Monday, but Columbia’s two power plants won’t be drastically affected.

Columbia Water and Light is mandated to purchase at least 5 percent of its electricity from renewable sources because of an ordinance passed by the Columbia City Council and the city’s coal plant only operates part of the year.

However, the city does currently get its power from a coal burning power plant from Sikeston, Missouri.

According to an ordinance passed by the Columbia City Council, the city will be required to get 15 percent of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2022.

Connie Kacprowicz, communications specialist for Columbia Water and Light, said the city is worried about finding the right balance between keeping costs for consumers down and increasing its use of renewable energy.

“We’ve been working towards reducing that dependence on coal energy,” Kacprowicz said. “But we need to make sure that we are finding resources that are economically feasible as well.”

The University of Missouri’s sustainability goals actually exceed the proposed regulations, according to communications manager Karlan Seville.

Seville said that the university plans on cutting its coal use by 75 percent over the next four years by using more bio-mass and natural gas. MU is also planning on going carbon neutral by 2050.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement on Monday the proposal gives states the flexibility to shift production to plants that produce low amounts of emissions while keeping prices low for consumers.

The EPA will be accepting comments on the proposal once the rule is published in the Federal Register. Officials will be touring the country in late-July and holding public meetings to get input on the plan.