Ohio Job Creators, American Workers Brace for Utility MACT’s Impact

Posted by Steve Gates at 12:08 pm, January 04, 2012

As President Obama visits Cleveland today to talk about the economy, it’s important to note how recently proposed EPA regulations will impact job creators in Ohio and workers across America.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the recently finalized Utility MACT rule “will cost Ohio power companies billions” and lead to job loss in the short and longterm:

Columbus-based American Electric Power has said it will need to spend $8 billion and close all or part of 11 coal-fired plants, eliminating 600 jobs. Early casualties are the Muskingum River Power Plant at Beverly in Washington County with its 160 workers, the company said. Parts of two other Ohio plants, in Lockbourne and Conesville, also will be shut down.

Back in October, the Ohio Manufacturers Association noted in a Columbus Dispatch op-ed that EPA was rushing through new regulations like Utility MACT without considering the cumulative economic impacts:

The problem is not just that these regulations are overreaching and costly. Another major cause for concern is that the EPA’s regulatory process does not include a thorough, rigorous evaluation of the possible cumulative economic impacts … The EPA only looks at the new rules in isolation, rather than considering that the pancaking of these rules will make compliance costs unnecessarily higher.

American workers also expressed their disappointment with the finalization of the Utility MACT rule. In November, the Utility Workers Union of America warned that rules like Utility MACT would not only lead to job loss, but would also raise energy costs and decreases electricity reliability:

The current deadlines simply will not allow most utility companies adequate time to comply and these companies will be forced to close plants and lay off workers. In addition to the devastating loss of jobs, it is also expected that the current compliance deadlines will result in dramatic increases in electricity rates and jeopardize the stability of the electric grid.

As our President and CEO Steve Miller pointed out immediately after the EPA finalized Utility MACT, “we will study this rule carefully” and “if this final rule is as bad as the one EPA proposed earlier, Congress will need to step in.”


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