Major Utility Company Breaks with Industry Lobbyists, Supports EPA Carbon Standards

Third-Largest Utility in U.S. Submits Statement in Support of EPA Standards, While Edison Electric Institute Comes Under Increased Pressure

Today, shortly after Evergreen Action called on utilities to publicly oppose an industry interest group effort to undermine U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) carbon standards, Constellation Energy—the third-largest energy producer in the country—announced that it will file comments with EPA in support of proposed carbon pollution standards for power plants, ahead of tomorrow’s EPA comment deadline. Constellation Energy praised the “very practical” EPA standards for their “flexibility” and called them a “roadmap for the electric industry to step up its efforts.”

Constellation’s statement comes in sharp contrast to the Edison Electric Institute’s reported planned comments attempting to weaken the EPA’s proposed carbon standards by withdrawing common-sense emissions reductions and scrapping existing gas-powered plants from the proposed rule. 

Constellation CEO Joe Dominguez specifically called out EEI for “working to block these very practical measures rather than offering constructive solutions and recognizing the imperative of moving our industry toward a carbon-free future, as we inevitably must do.”

Last week, Evergreen Action and 28 other climate advocacy groups sent a letter to the CEOs of the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) full list of member utilities, calling on them to clarify their stance on their trade organization’s extreme opposition to EPA’s proposed carbon standards and to support pollution controls.

“It’s time for other utilities to step up and stop their delay tactics. Constellation Energy is right to side with EPA and the rest of the industry needs to stop spending your ratepayer money to destabilize our climate,” said Evergreen Action Vice President for Policy Craig Segall. “The EPA’s carbon standards will protect reliability and affordability, and decrease pollution in the power sector. Constellation Energy’s forward-looking approach is a sign of the momentum of utility companies breaking with the backwards stance of Edison Electric Institute lobbyists. While millions of Americans suffer from extreme heat, it’s time for utilities to speak up and take action on climate change by tomorrow’s EPA comment deadline. Utility companies love to tout their clean energy commitments in snappy TV ads and glossy marketing materials; now is the moment of truth for them to announce where they really stand on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”