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.
The article continues at Heritage.org
H/T Jared Law, The 9/12 Project
Update: President Obama’s Anti-Coal Agenda Threatens Reliability of our Electricity Supply, at Green Mountain Scribes