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How will the EPA's new utility rules affect YOUR state?

June 14, 2012 J

By Adam Berkland

The U.S. Senate will soon hold what is likely to be the most important energy vote this year: an up-or-down vote on Senator Inhofe’s resolution (S.J.Res. 37) to overturn the EPA’s onerous Utility MACT rule.  This may be Congress’ last chance to stand up to the EPA and stop this rule, the most expensive power regulation in American history.

Finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in February, Utility MACT has the stated goal of reducing mercury emissions at U.S. power plants.  However, the real aim is to fulfill the President’s promise that under his administration, “if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”  It’s a senseless approach that will force power plants to close across the country, cause electricity prices to spike by an average of 12% nationwide, and cost the economy well over a million jobs.

Perhaps these astronomical costs would be justified if real, tangible public health or environmental benefits were to come from it.  But the EPA’s own analysis shows that the actual benefits of reducing already-minimal mercury emissions are a tiny fraction of the billions of dollars in costs this rule imposes on the American economy.  An honest assessment shows that the regulation’s costs outweigh its benefits by 1800 to 1.

The verdict is clear: Utility MACT is all pain and no gain for American families and businesses. How exactly will it affect your state?  Two recent publications help answer that very question:

  • In April, the American Legislative Exchange Council published a state-by-state breakdown of the economic costs of the EPA’s recent regulatory onslaught.  As far as the agency’s utility regulations go, combined they will destroy nearly 30,000 jobs in Illinois, cost state and local governments in Michigan $1.7 billion in tax revenue, and cause electricity prices in Nebraska (which gets 65% of its power from coal-fired plants) to rise by as much as 27%.  Check out the costs for your state by clicking here.

If the U.S. Senate still believes regulations should pass the common sense test, Utility MACT cannot stand.  You can take action today by contacting your Senators and telling them “Don’t Raise My Electricity Bill!”

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