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  • EPA Set to Implement Economically Ruinous Regulations on Power Plants

    The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it has finalized a pair of new regulations on power plants expected to produce massive economic damage and unemployment in coming years. The regulations aim to reduce pollution in down-wind states, and replace similar regulations created by George Bush’s EPA in 2005 and struck down by a federal court.

    President Obama was quite clear on the campaign trail that under his cap and trade plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” The EPA resumed the effort to regulate emissions after cap and trade died in the Senate, but evidence suggests that the effects on Americans’ electricity bills will be the same.

    The EPA’s move to implement the Clean Air Transport Rule and the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, both of which will hit coal power plants hardest, comes less than a month after the release of a high-profile study showing the extent of the regulations’ damage to the energy sector – and, consequently, to the American economy generally, and the country’s employment situation.

    The study, conducted by the National Economic Research Associates and commissioned by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, found that the regulations will increase electricity rates by nearly 12 percent nationwide in the next five years, and by more than 23 percent in certain regions. The regulations will add an average of $17.8 billion to the nation’s electricity costs every year for the next 20 years, NERA found.

    The employment picture will not be pretty, either: NERA estimated that the regulations would cost the American job market 1.88 million job-years. Those losses more than offset the 450,000 job years the study anticipates will be created by the new regulations.

    Since the vast majority of consumer products depend somehow on technologies that use electricity, higher electricity rates mean a higher cost of doing business. That leads, inevitably, to higher prices for those products, either directly though companies charging their customers more, or indirectly through a shortage of supply as those companies produce less (or even go out of business).

    “American households will be hit hard, as will American businesses,” wrote Heritage Foundation Policy Analyst Nicolas Loris of the regulations’ effects. Their economic ripples will not be confined to the energy sector, Loris predicted. “Producers everywhere will try to cover their higher production costs by raising product prices. As a result, consumer demand will fall, and income and employment will drop.”

    As the Associated Press reported:

    While the EPA says the suite of regulations will not cause the power to go out, almost everyone agrees that it will help close down some of the oldest, and dirtiest, coal-fired facilities. At the remaining plants, operators would have to use existing pollution controls more frequently, use lower-sulfur coal, or install additional equipment.

    “The EPA is ignoring the cumulative economic damage new regulations will cause,” said Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a pro-coal industry association. Along with other pending regulations, Miller said they “are among the most expensive ever imposed by the agency.”

    Most regulations have adverse effects on the economy. These are likely to be especially destructive, given the wide range of industries affected by energy prices. Yet Obama’s EPA is going ahead with their implementation, even in the midst of a sputtering economic recovery.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to EPA Set to Implement Economically Ruinous Regulations on Power Plants

    1. Julianne Cummings says:

      We have to get these people out of the White House. right away…

    2. Joe Reimuller says:

      Does anyone doubt that the EPA is a free-wheeling fascist organization? By the way, there is no such thing as "clean coal", and there never will be unless coal is turned into petroleum or natural gas…and we already have plenty of both in the ground which the EPA will not allow to b e used. Nor can anyone build new Nuclear plants. Energy Starvation is the goal of the Enviros, along with fencing us out of natjural resources. If we could just clear our forests of undersized trees. we could have any amount of particle-board and new jobs…but NO…because that would help bring the Economy back.

      • George Colgrove, VA says:

        Why stop at the EPA, the whole federal government is seeming to be a free-wheeling fascist organization.

    3. Clean air says:

      I love the concept of breathing clean air and drinking clean water. Why is that so hard for people to understand?

      • George Colgrove, VA says:

        So we need a bunch of overpaid and over numbered feds taking up acres of federal buildings in DC to make it so? I want clean air and clean water, but I think there are better ways to get to that then a bunch of regulations that hurt us all. How clean will this country be when we become a third world nation? Your assumption that only the federal government wants clean air and clean water. DC has a terrible recycling environment. I come from VT and recycling is a part of life there for conservatives and liberals. In DC, you really have to search long and hard to recycle. What ever practices I learned in VT, I am loosing here in DC. Then you consider what the national mall looks like after a liberal protest event. There is enough trash on the ground to fill the average landfill. I think we can take care of the environment by ourselves – we do not need the EPA or its draconian regulations.

      • Electric man says:

        We can have both but the washington idiots do not even know what proper laws to come up with or even how to enforce them. The way power plants sample for mercury for instance is so flawed the sample procedures have been stopped in many instances. The amount of mercury the epa wants the power plants to collect amounts to filling the houston astrodome with 30 billion ping ping balls and then putting 25 to 30 orange balls in with them, the orangs balls are the amount the epa wants collected.

    4. Bill Huber says:

      I love breathing clean air and seeing clean water, too. One of the best ways is to drive right through the heart of coal country, West Virginia. My son goes to school at Virginia Tech and our route to Blacksburg goes through numerous national parks in east Ohio, West Virginia, and Southwest Virginia. I read that there are many coal mines and electrical generating plants nearby but they are not seen from the road and they definitely do not spoil the air. The one place I get to see a plant is along of my favorite stretches on the route. Nestled next to the New river is an electrical generating power plant quietly doing its job. Awhile back I stopped at the convenience store next to the plant. Considering the merchandise on display and the people in the store, I think it is fair to say that workers at the plant are passionate about their hunting and fishing. I suspect that both plant management and workers have a vested interest in protecting their local fishing hole. In all of my trips through West Virginia I have yet to see or smell pollution.

      So I am confused. How is this supposed to work? We let the EPA create a back door national energy policy that picks winners and losers in the energy market, will likely raise electrical prices, shut down plants, and put people out of work. How is this good for America? Does this mean we should shut down the Energy department since EPA is in charge of the national energy policy. I suspect that the folks in West Virginia will never see or smell any of the benefits of the new EPA regulations but they will notice the people out of work. This sure looks like a policy created by folks who never have been to West Virginia.

    5. Bobbie says:

      What are you breathing and drinking now? There is absolutely no significant reason except a government manufactured CRISIS! The actions are clear, the set-ups are becoming obvious and Obama's administration loves to create and capitalize on subliminal punishment to those simply wanting to live their lives freely. DEFUND the EPA! They have no credit and are counterproductive to this country.

    6. Pingback: Finance Talking » Blog Archive » Globaloney: The Statist Push Continues

    7. minuteman6 says:

      Since Environmentalism is nothing short of being a Nature Based Religion, isn't the EPA and all these "green" regulations and laws in violation of the First Amendment in regards to the Establishment of Religion.

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