EPA’s website offers “Ten Things to Know About EPA’s Clean Power Plan.” In advance of the Sept. 27 oral arguments, NMA offers “Ten Things EPA Doesn’t Want You to Know” about it:
1. It’s unlawful – Sec. 111 (d) of the Clean Air Act doesn’t give EPA the authority to transform a state’s energy grid at the whim of Washington regulators. EPA is ignoring 45 years of interpretation that has limited its authority to regulating discrete sources within a fence line. It now claims power to regulate a significant portion of the U.S. economy.
2. It’s costly for the country – EPA ignores estimates of $64 billion needed for building out transmission infrastructure to replace power generation lost from the rule – power that could serve 24 million homes. The CPP will raise wholesale electricity prices by $214 billion, forcing typical annual household electricity bills a third higher by 2020 than they were in 2012.
3. It will have no significant environmental benefit – Reduces global temperatures by 0.018 degrees C by the year 2100, atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by less than one percent and sea level rise by 0.3 millimeters.
4. It’s opposed by most states – More than half the states (28) object to this transparent usurpation of their authority to regulate state power grids and raise power prices.
5. It will harm state economies – More than 40 states will face double digit increases in the cost of wholesale electricity. Sixteen states face wholesale power price increases of at least 25 percent.
6. It will harm low-income families – Low income households and those on fixed incomes have less income for non-discretionary spending. About half of all households spend one fifth of their disposable income on energy – two to three times more than families with above median income.
7. It will cause unemployment – Job losses could total 225,000 from the implementation date to 2030.
8. It will weaken energy diversity – EIA estimates the CPP will force retirement of another 56 coal-based power plants, increasing the risk of higher consumer costs by eliminating the restraining influence from competing sources of power generation that currently saves Americans an estimated $93 billion a year in electricity costs.
9. It encroaches on state sovereignty – States enjoy “traditional authority over the need for additional generating capacity, the type of generating facilities to be licensed, land use, ratemaking, and the like.” Pac Gas and Elec. Co. v State Energy Res. Conservation and Dev. Comm’n.
10. It contradicts what voters want – A recent poll conducted by Morning Consult for NMA reveals that voters’ single biggest concern with energy is “cost” while also signaling a strong preference for keeping coal in the U.S. energy mix. The CPP, however, will raise costs and force affordable reliable coal-generated power off the grid.