A panel on coal energy warns that customers could see electricity rates rise if more regulations go into effect regarding the product. .
American Electric Power's Bruce Braine said that nearly 80 percent of Ohio's electricity comes from coal and rates could rise ten to thirty percent if more regulations go into effect. Regulations impact not only coal, but energy production and in turn will impact jobs.
"We're trying to make the require environmental performance improvements under these regulations as cost effectively as we can," said Vice President for Strategic Policy Analysis of AEP Bruce Braine. "Obviously, there's no avoiding if you have to put in additional controls or in some cases have to shut units down. That's going to result in additional cost."
While everyone on the panel agrees the industry needs regulation they don't agree on the mandate set to go into effect after the election. Congressman Bill Johnson said he and others are trying to keep the Environmental Protection Agency at bay until an agreement can be reached.
"We've made big advances in coal technology and many of these coal fire power plants have spent millions upgrading their plants, putting scrubbers in to make sure they are environmentally sound. Who is more concerned about the water we drink and the air we breathe in Ohio then those of us who live here," said Congressman Bill Johnson of the 6th U.S. District.
12th District Representative Pat Tiberi said when it comes to alternative energies it can't be an all or nothing approach and that coal must also factor into the way we provide energy.
The panel was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity and the National Federation of Independent Business.