Plant Yates Downsizes Due to EPA Regulations
By Lynn Westmoreland
January 14, 2013
Georgia Power has recently announced that by April 16, 2015, five coal-burning units at Plant Yates in Coweta County will shut down. In order to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Utility MACT Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics rule, Plant Yates will be forced to close these coal units due to these regulations and to cut down on costs. It is frustrating to see that once again, another one of Georgia’s plants is suffering from the heavy hand of the EPA. In an attempt to convert and reuse some of these units, Georgia Power will convert the remaining two units at Plant Yates from coal-burning to natural gas.
Plant Yates currently has 224 employees, which will be reduced to 106 by the time the shutdown is complete. It is estimated that nearly 500 employees will be affected by this transition. In a time when unemployment is high and energy is costly, we need to be supporting Georgia’s companies, building our local economy, and encouraging job growth – not drowning them in regulation and expensive fees. Everyone is tightening their belts and cutting back, including our energy producers, and we need to ensure that the policies our businesses must follow are efficient and practical. The pursuit for “all-of-the-above” energy must begin, and we need to continue to fight for the EPA to let these companies grow in order to get America on the right path towards energy independence.