That’s what Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said after the EPA issued new rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fueled power plants. Manchin points out that this and other new EPA regulations essentially force utilities to fuel switch, which only harms our economy:
This approach relies totally on cheap natural gas and we’ve seen that bubble burst before. It might sound good now, but what happens if those prices go up? Your average hardworking families and manufacturers will be left holding the bag of uncertainty – either in the prices they pay or in the reliability of our electrical system … This is what happens when this country doesn’t have a true all-of-the-above energy approach. Instead of trying to completely eliminate coal in the long-term, the EPA should be trying to work with industry.
Manchin’s colleague on the other side of the aisle, Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) notes who exactly would be affected by these new regulations:
The last thing we need at this critical stage of economic recovery is to have President Obama pushing more regulations that drive up costs and threaten even more jobs … Our energy focus should be on dealing with our strategic oil vulnerability that contributes to high gasoline prices and weakens our national security … the emissions regulations that the Obama Administration is implementing and other regulations it is considering, will affect every corner of our economy, from big utilities to family farmers, and every Hoosier rate payer.
The experts agree. The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council argues that these new EPA regulations are in direct contrast to President Obama’s rhetoric on energy policy:
[W]e believe that the proposal is short-sighted and marks a real departure from the Administration’s goal of an ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. The rule would effectively ban the future of almost half of our current electric portfolio … The GHG rule must be placed in the context of many other rules – such as the air toxics rule, the visibility rule, and the interstate rule – that have the effect of increasing the price of energy for consumers by double digits in some areas, and have the effect of making industry less competitive and destroying jobs as each plant closes.
Watch this video to learn more about how new EPA regulations will affect towns across America.