Grid Operators Raise Fears EPA Carbon Rule Could Hurt Grid Reliability

For Immediate Release

May 21, 2024

Contact: Michelle Bloodworth

Washington, D.C. – Grid operators are expressing new concerns about the impact EPA’s Carbon Rule will have on electric reliability. Southwest Power Pool (SPP), a regional transmission organization spanning the central and western United States, is the latest grid operator to issue a statement raising concerns about how the rule could negatively impact its mission to provide reliable electric service to its customers.

Earlier this month, PJM, another grid operator serving customers in the central and eastern United States, released a statement saying the Carbon Rule may lead to the premature retirement of coal-fueled power plants that are essential to maintaining electric reliability.  Together, PJM and SPP are responsible for maintaining a reliable electricity system across all or parts of 29 states.

In response to these latest warnings from grid operators, Michelle Bloodworth, President and CEO of America’s Power issued the following statement:

“Grid operators have a mission to keep the lights on, but EPA’s Carbon Rule will make accomplishing that mission expensive and difficult, if not impossible, by forcing the premature closure of coal-fired power plants,” said Michelle Bloodworth, President and CEO of America’s Power. “EPA is ignoring the exploding growth in electricity  demand which means the nation needs more electricity resources, such as coal, not fewer. Forcing coal-fired power plants to either retire prematurely or employ technologies that are prohibitively expensive and unproven is a recipe for more expensive and less reliable electricity.”

In a release accompanying their statement, SPP COO Lanny Nickell said the carbon rule “presents serious complications for SPP and our members that may be insurmountable.” SPP also noted that its current projections and studies already indicate the need for a “significant amount of new capacity to be added in a short time frame” even without taking into account the retirement of baseload power plants due to the Carbon Rule.

PJM’s statement also expressed similar concerns about EPA ignoring growing electricity demand, saying “The EPA has not sufficiently reconciled its compliance dates with the need for generation to meet dramatically increasing load demands on the system.” The grid operator also warned of a future grid without baseload power sources: “[T]he future demand for electricity cannot be met simply through renewables given their intermittent nature.”


America’s Power is a partnership of industries involved in producing electricity from coal.