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  • EPA to Raise Electricity Prices, Risk Blackouts

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seemingly undeterred by the slow economic recovery, is marching ahead with air pollution regulations that would increase electricity prices, raise costs for businesses and consumers, and risk power outages.

    The EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are scheduled to go into effect in January of 2012 and 2015, respectively. Other pending related regulations include the Boiler MACT and Utility MACT rules, coal ash regulations, and new standards for cooling water intake structures. All of these are expensive and put jobs at risk.

    Earlier this summer, America’s largest utility explained that the EPA’s multipronged attack on traditional energy sources could cost Southern Co. up to $18 billion and increase electricity costs for Southern customers by an additional 10 percent to 20 percent during the next 10 years. Energy prices are expected to rise by several percentage points across the country. Higher electricity prices also mean higher prices for most goods and services.

    Possible blackouts are another concern. Utilities announced that they would have to retire older coal plants in response to the regulations. But getting replacement electricity plants up and running can take several years and is subject to potential regulatory delays of many more years. In the meantime, an overloaded grid could be subject to blackouts.

    A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy fending off concerns that pending air pollution regulations pose risks to electricity reliability is far from settling the question of possible blackouts. Just a few days prior, the government-designated expert panel to ensure electricity reliability, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), warned that the EPA’s proposed regulations pose one of the greatest risks to the electricity sector.

    In addition to reliability issues from plant shutdowns, pending MATS create uncertainty. From The New York Times:

    … about 600 large plants are likely to be shut for several months for the installation of pollution controls, executives said, and coordinating the shutdowns to avoid local electricity shortages will be a formidable task. Part of the uncertainty is that no one is sure how strictly the Environmental Protection Agency will enforce its rules or exactly what the rules will be. The agency is supposed to publish a new rule on mercury and air toxics on Dec. 16, for example.

    These misguided regulations pose a further obstacle to the return of a strong and vibrant economy. Congress should roll back the EPA’s costly and risky attack on the American electricity sector.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to EPA to Raise Electricity Prices, Risk Blackouts

    1. Bobbie says:

      for one thing there is no constitutional reason and another, to increase costs will only result in state government tax paid aid to cover the increase to those government qualifies while those accountable to their costs and for the forced obligated costs of those that get it at reduced or no costs, are forced to do with less and less? what sense is this making? HOW IS THAT FAIR!!??

      the EPA works against us and obama holds no one accountable to their own! please humble them! there is no reason people can't be held personally accountable to their usage of their furnace especially those that got free or reduced housing!! one teensy part of ownership and there's no reason for this open intrusion to increase expenses in the health of livelihoods.

      PS we hear alot in regard to foreclosures yet we hear nothing in regard to the outcome of those foreclosed upon? hmm…

    2. Bill says:

      Obama is raising costs of electricity for middle class; while LYING yesterday that he is protecting the middle class.

      • Sage says:

        This should not fool or surprise anyone. Barack Obama could care less for the people of America. He only cares about his far leftist socialistic agenda for Amerika. he told you he would transform America. Noone asked how!

    3. drrik says:

      You can't fool all of the people.
      Presbo just has to fool 53%.
      Again.

    4. Jonesy says:

      The first line doesn't make any sense: "The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), seemingly undeterred by the slow economic recovery…" Why should the EPA, whose mandate is to protect human health and our nation's scarce resources for sustainable long-term use, be responsible for the economy? Think long-term. EPA is doing its job, trying to protect our long-term energy resources by making them more efficient and less costly. Don't let energy companies be the ones to tell you every side of the story – theirs is self-interested and focused on profit. Cheap energy is a thing of the past. If we don't get smart, we're screwed.

      • Bobbie says:

        Jonesy, do you work for the EPA? the regulations are overreaching and impractical at high costs. it's not the self interest of the energy companies that make energy fuel available, efficient and versatile, that put costs into research of truth, that are held accountable to their consumers even when lied about! it's the special interests of the overly priced at no freedom of choice, EPA of no merit, fully supported by the tax paid government over common sense and people's freedom to innovate and conduct business. where are they protecting us? just like you were lied to about this nation's scarce resources. when you focus on one side you cheat your potential intellect and too many of you, are cheating this country's reason.

        Cheap energy is not a thing of the past if we had a government that cared about the people they serve and the people that pay them. we deserve government that respects and conducts themselves with constitutional discipline. if we give in we're screwed.

      • Sage says:

        Are you kidding me? Keep drinking their Kool-Aid you fool and pay for all the rest of us while everything keeps going up. It will be inflated just like Barack Obama and his administration has done to all the other industries in this country over the past 3 years. Its is part of their fundamental transformation of America into the socialistic democracy they dream of with all the power in their hands and all the rest of us the slaves to them. You know Amerika, you obviously voted for this yaahoo.

    5. Armistead says:

      __Subject: New Power Generators using Surplus Aircraft Carriers.__Surplus Aircraft Carriers might make good "30 Megawatt Emergency Generators" or "50 Megawatt Poncelet Water Wheel Generators", if new 7.5 Megawatt Generators were added below deck with the ability to be turned by the main, oil-fired, steam engines, or by adding "New Poncelet Water Wheels", if docked in rivers (like the Columbia, Mississippi, Sacramento, Potomac, or Hudson) and raised or removed while at sea._ _Generally speaking, oil-fired power plants are becoming obsolete, due to the increasing cost of oil and oil pollution, but they still make profits or would disappear

    6. Jon says:

      Since the author failed to provide both sides of story, here is a quote from chair of Sinai Hospital preventative medicine. "The developing brain of a fetus is exquisitely sensitive to methylmercury," said Dr. Landrigan. "At the end of the day, you have a one-time expense for the power industry or a continuing erosion of the brain power of a whole generation of American children."
      As the father of two young boys I'm willing pay a couple dollars more per utility bill.

    7. This will cost US taxpayers, businesses, homeowners, collectively close to $10 billion; and how will we see this cost? In higher energy costs, electricity bills. And, what is the total benefit we enjoy for such a high cost? $6 million, in health benefits. Lets go with this thought process, and simply shut down all the coal plants-shut down all industry. Our King, oops, I mean our President, Mr. Obama, has his charges in place, such as Lisa Jackson at the EPA, to do this bidding. This is not about the $6 million in future health benefits, it's about crushing the coal industry.

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