Experts Agree: Price Too High, Benefits too Low for EPA’s Costly Power Plan
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released its final Clean Power Plan (CPP) – more appropriately labeled the “Costly Power Plan.” As noted by National Mining Association President and CEO Hall Quinn, under the plan “American households and businesses will be forced to accept higher electricity rates in exchange for what EPA admits are negligible environmental gains.”
Independent studies have shown that the CPP is an energy tax on American consumers, with low-income households and seniors being the hardest hit. According to NERA Economic Consulting, the CPP will cost $366 billion and bring double digit electricity-rate increases to 43 states. Another study from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association found that a 10 percent increase in electricity rates would destroy an average of 882,000 jobs annually between 2020 and 2040.
And there is mounting evidence of the economic harm that will be caused by the CPP.
A new study released this week by the Institute for Energy Research (IER) found that closing existing coal-fired electricity-generating plants and replacing them with new natural gas and renewable sources of energy would impose huge costs on the American public. Per the study, existing coal plants generate reliable electricity, on average, at $38.40 per hour. However, under the CPP, electricity generated from new natural gas plants is $73.40 per megawatt-hour, almost twice as expensive as from existing coal plants. New wind facilities would cost $106.80 per megawatt-hour. IER President Tom Pyle discussed this study in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial:
“Given the new study’s cost data, state governments should think twice about working with the EPA. The agency has called on states to submit compliance plans, and the regulators intend to impose a federal plan on states that don’t. Either option will force states to uproot the electric grid, imposing economic hardships.”
Despite the tremendous economic costs, the CPP would provide minimal public health benefits. It’s all economic pain, for no environmental gain. This point was made this week by Washington Post columnist Robert Samuleson:
“Even under these favorable assumptions, Obama’s plan won’t immediately depress global temperatures, which — if the logic of climate change holds — will be higher in 2030 than today…Eliminating fossil fuel emissions from coal, oil and natural gas would presumably stabilize most human impact on global warming. But if done now, it would also destroy modern economies because fossil fuels provide four-fifths of the world’s primary energy. There’s no quick way of finding substitutes for all the fossil fuels. A single-minded focus on global warming would plunge the world into depression.”
Visit www.NMA.org to learn more about the EPA’s Costly Power Plan.
- On August 11, 2015