FMPA Expresses Concern About EPA Proposed Greenhouse Gas Regulation
Proposed Rule Threatens Florida’s Power Reliability and Electricity Affordability
ORLANDO, Fla., August 3, 2023 – Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) filed comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the organization’s proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) rule for electric utilities. The rule, which targets CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants, presents unique challenges in Florida.
Florida relies on natural gas generation for 75% of its power supply, by far the highest percentage in the United States. It would be one of the most impacted states by EPA’s proposed rule, which would introduce experimental “green” hydrogen to partially fuel natural gas power plants by 2032.
The Florida Reliability Coordinating Council (FRCC), a not-for-profit member services organization for Florida’s electric utilities, also filed comments on the proposed rule. The FRCC reported the rule would likely reduce natural gas generation levels between 20% to 40% for natural gas units, creating significant reliability risks in Florida.
“Florida is not situated to comply with the rule within the proposed time frame and it would result in 8% unserved energy, or the equivalent of blacking out all of Florida’s residential customers for two months, according to FRCC analysis,” said Jacob Williams, CEO and general manager at FMPA.
“To meet the proposal, permitting and building out the ‘green’ hydrogen production, transportation and storage facilities for most of the natural gas plants in Florida would take much longer than eight years and will be extremely costly.”
FMPA estimates EPA’s proposals could increase energy costs between 100% to 200% for all Florida customers. This, combined with Florida families using more electricity than the average U.S. family due to heat and humidity and already rapidly increasing energy prices, creates challenges for customers.
Florida has one of the highest rates of residents living on a fixed or low income, especially with the state’s significant retiree population. Of FMPA’s members, which include all 33 municipal electric utilities in the state, nearly half of the communities have average incomes that are 50% or less of the U.S. average.
“Our top priority remains providing affordable and reliable power to each of the 4 million Floridians served by our members,” said Williams.
In its comments, FMPA encouraged EPA to delay the rulemaking and consult with other federal agencies about the unique economic and power reliability consequences of its proposed rules.