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SWEPCO warns of more rate increases from new federal rules

SWEPCO warns of more rate increases from new federal rules

POSTED: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 8:38am

UPDATED: Thursday, October 6, 2011 - 9:42am

Officials with an electric utility that serves much of Northeast Texas said Wednesday that federal emissions regulations set to begin next year are “unlawful” and warned its customers the regulations would mean higher electric bills by next summer.

AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s customers in Texas could see rate increases between 18 percent and 22 percent if the Environmental Protection Agency implements Cross-State Air Pollution Rules on Jan. 1, said T. Brian Bond, SWEPCO vice president for external affairs.

Those increases would come on top of 16 percent increases the utility is seeking for construction of the John W. Turk Jr. Power Plant near Hope, Ark.

SWEPCO petitioned the EPA on Tuesday and plans to submit an additional petition today in hopes the agency will relax its Jan. 1 compliance deadline for certain rules involving nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions.

“We want the public to know what’s coming because it will have a significant impact on the economy, on what they pay every month on their bill, and it’s all going to start, the increase is actually probably going to start next year on their bills,” Bond said.

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