Coal Industry Responds to EPA’s Regulatory Assault on the Economy

The same ideology that brought us Detroit — a now bankrupt city infamous for its central planning and regulations — is now working to bring us more job-killing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that will harm the entire country.

The EPA has proposed a rule to limit carbon dioxide emissions for new fossil fuel-fired power plants.  Liberals inside and outside of the EPA are hailing this as an effort to “protect” our “communities” from “pollution.”

They don’t consider the effect the regulations would have on the economy and on jobs, and they ignore evidence that suggests the EPA’s proposed rules would have negligible impacts on climate change and the environment.  Indeed, the proposed regulation “could be the costliest EPA regulation in history.”  

But industry leaders and conservatives are speaking out as the EPA tries to Detroitify America.  Below are several of the points they make that the folks at the EPA are ignoring:

  1. “The United States depends on coal for 40 percent of its electric generation.”
  2. “The [coal] industry provides 800,000 jobs.”
  3. “Banning new coal-fueled power plants is bad energy policy for our nation because it will result in an overreliance on natural gas for new base load generation.”
  4. “EPA’s approach risks overreliance on one power source and jeopardizes the reliability that is inherent in having a diverse energy portfolio.”

The Electricity Reliability Coordinating Council said, “The proposed rule is an example of regulation at its worst in that it attempts to direct market forces with only the vague hope of being able to deliver real benefits.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Nicolas Loris also notes:

The massive costs of tightening the standard have outweighed the negligible environmental benefits in the past, and enforcing the 75-ppb standard will have diminishing marginal returns—quite possibly to a vanishing point. Even the EPA acknowledged that lowering the ozone standard to 70 ppb would lower asthma and respiratory diseases by only a few tenths of a percent.

But the costs? Many companies would have to implement costly emission-reduction technologies, and a tighter standard could prevent them from expanding and operating. Further, areas of non-attainment of the ozone standard have difficulty attracting businesses.

If the EPA were to implement a 60-ppb standard, the total U.S. attainment costs between 2020 and 2030 would be over $1 trillion—per year. Economist Donald Norman projects that would lead to 7.3 million jobs lost by 2020.


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