In the ongoing discussion about proposed EPA regulations on power plants, there are some who claim that these regulations won’t directly require the shutting down of any specific plants. Some also claim that the agency’s role of setting rules and standards on emissions is separate from businesses having to make decisions about whether or not to invest in existing power plants.
While the EPA might not target individual power plants for closure, the facts show that new proposed EPA regulations will dramatically decrease an important source of our baseload power by increasing retirements of coal-fueled power plants. According to a recent study from the National Economic Research Associates that we commissioned, under four proposed EPA regulations, there would be 42.2 gigawatts of coal-fueled power plants that would be retired from 2012 to 2020, compared to just 3.1 gigawatts of retirements without those four new rules. Those 39.1 gigawatts of additional retirements represent about 12 percent of the 2010 U.S. coal-fueled electricity generating capacity.
While it’s important to have a balanced energy portfolio that takes advantage of all forms of energy, policies shouldn’t force electricity providers to switch off of this country’s most affordable and abundant energy source, which could lead to increased energy costs for American families and job creators. According to the NERA study, EPA regulations that decrease coal-fueled electricity and increase natural gas-fueled electricity would increase natural gas prices by 10 percent from 2012 to 2020, leading to $8 billion in additional costs annually for residential, commercial and industrial consumers.
What’s most troubling is that the EPA has admitted to not analyzing all the negative economic impacts of their proposed regulations, including Utility MACT, the most expensive rule the EPA has ever written for coal-fueled power plants.
Share this post with friends and family on Twitter and Facebook using the buttons above. It’s important to spread the word about the consequences of these rules on the American economy.