Tri-State lauds Supreme Court decision to stay Clean Power Plan

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On Feb. 9, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the applications of numerous parties, including Tri-State, to stay EPA's Clean Power Plan for the period of time the rule is being challenged in court.

The court's unprecedented decision to stay the Clean Power Plan pending judicial review is a monumental step forward in the effort to stop the costly and legally-flawed regulation. Allowing the rule to move forward as these challenges are litigated would have caused immediate and irreparable harm to Tri-State, its member electric cooperatives and rural communities across the West.

"This is a tremendous victory for our members who rely on fossil fuel generation as a source of affordable and reliable power, the employees who work at our plants and coal mines, and the communities where our operations are located," said Mike McInnes, chief executive officer of Tri-State.

The stay was granted in response to applications by Tri-State with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), 27 states, trade organizations, utilities, energy producers and business interests.

"Tri-State is grateful to the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming who have shown great leadership in this effort," said McInnes. "Mark Brnovich in Arizona, Cynthia Coffman in Colorado, Doug Peterson in Nebraska and Peter Michael in Wyoming, joined other attorneys general across the country to challenge the rule because they understand the negative impacts the rule would have on their states and the country."

Tri-State has argued since the rule was proposed that it was unlawful, unworkable and should be abandoned by the EPA.

"We believe the stakes are too high to risk implementing legally flawed, poorly conceived regulations that have the real potential to harm our members and rural communities across the West," said McInnes.

In granting the stay, the Supreme Court recognized there would be irreparable harm should the rule be allowed to proceed and then ultimately be found unlawful. As is customary in these types of cases, Tri-State expects deadlines in the rule would be reset only after the legal challenges are resolved. If the rule were ultimately struck down, the deadlines and requirements would disappear entirely.

Tri-State will continue to work constructively with the states where it has operations, and invest in the efficiency of its facilities, maintain best practices and diversify its generation portfolio. Twenty-four percent of the energy Tri-State and its members supply to cooperative consumers is generated from emissions-free renewable energy resources. Tri-State’s renewable energy portfolio will continue to grow with the addition of two new solar projects and two new wind projects to be operational by 2017. Fossil fuels remain an important part of the association’s diverse portfolio in keeping energy affordable and reliable.

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