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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Supreme Court Rules Cooling Water Costs Can Be Considered

The Supreme Court ruled today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can compare costs with benefits to determine the technology that must be used at structures that cool water at electricity power plants. By a 6-3 vote, the high court handed a victory to Entergy Corporation, other electric utilities and the general public. The justices overturned a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that previously ruled that the Clean Water Act does not permit the EPA to consider the cost-benefit relationship in deciding the best technology available to minimize adverse environmental impact.

AAEA supports the U.S. Supreme Court decision.

The Supreme Court's decision is a victory for global warming mitigation because nuclear power plants do not emit any greenhouse gases and some traditional environmental groups are trying to use water permits as a way to shut them down. Although some fish eggs are destroyed by all power plant intakes, unreasonable expenses that would close plants and lead to rate shock to customers should be considered. The Supreme Court made the right decision. Morever, current Ristroph Screens provide sufficient protection at these intake areas. A negative ruling could have required hundreds of power plants to install super expensive cooling towers. Companies would shut down older plants before building cooling towers. AAEA President Norris McDonald, pictured above right, attended the December 2, 2008 hearing. (AP, Reuters)

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