The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, under the Trump administration, last week released its answer to the Obama-era Clean Power Plan: the Affordable Clean Energy rule.

The Clean Power Plan set national emissions limits on power plants. The new rule shifts the responsibility to states to scale back emissions.

The Trump administration's rule doesn't set targets but suggests ways to improve energy efficiency at individual power plants.

The Tennessee Valley Authority doesn't intend on altering its Integrated Resources Plan, which details how the utility will provide electricity to its customers for the next two decades, according to TVA spokesman Scott Brooks.

"TVA was already on track to meet most of the goals in the Clean Power Plan," Brooks said. "We've already reduced our carbon production by 50% since 2005" and expect to further reduce emissions in upcoming years.

Brooks attributed this carbon reduction to closing about half of TVA's coal-fired plants and increasing natural gas, as well as the completion of the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in 2016.

"Our decision to close Paradise (Fossil Plant) and Bull Run (Fossil Plant) were not made with environmental regulations in mind. They were business and economic decisions," Brooks said.

In fiscal year 2018, TVA captured power from about 40% nuclear, 26% coal, 20% natural gas, 10% hydro, 3 percent wind and solar and 1 percent other.

Under the draft Integrated Resources Plan, TVA will not add any more coal or natural gas plant capacity.

"The only addition to capacity is renewable energy," Brooks said. "In our (Integrated Resources Plan) and our planning process for the past decade we have tried to be as environmentally conscious as we can."

The plan entails boosting non-hydroelectric renewables -- predominantly solar -- to 5% of its total generation by 2027, and to about 10 to 15% of its power by 2038.

TVA will present a final version of the Integrated Resources Plan to its board in August. For updates, visit

Since 2017, the Trump administration has rolled back nearly 50 environmental rules -- reducing regulations on methane emissions and hydrofluorocarbons, preventing coal mining debris from entering streams, fracking and more -- and has introduced dozens of other rollbacks. Energy-related carbon emissions rose last year after more than a decade of dwindling numbers.

The new rule could go into effect within the next month, but legal challenges are expected.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.