The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is among more than 160 business organizations from 40 different states that have filed a court document in support of a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. That plan is aimed at reducing carbon pollution from power plants.
Their amicus brief is separate from the one filed this week by more than 200 members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield.
“We’re very concerned with protecting our low-cost energy advantage in Kentucky, being able to continue to run our power plants and utilize our natural resources such as coal to generate power,” said Kentucky Chamber of Commerce public affairs director Kate Shanks.
Shanks said Kentucky’s economy is “electricity intensive” with the manufacture of cars, primary metals and chemicals. She says this requires low-cost energy.
“We’re concerned that it [the Clean Power Plan] could force early retirements of some of our power plants and, of course, when utilities have to shut down and build new power plants, those costs are going to get passed along to ratepayers, including our business community," Shanks said.
The Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce are among the local organizations supporting the brief.
The lawsuit - filed by several states, including Kentucky, against the EPA - is expected to be decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals later this year, with oral arguments beginning in June. Shanks said the Chamber expects the issue to end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.