EPA Rule Threatens Power Plant Jobs

Nov 15, 2011

Despite what Sen. Reid said on the Senate floor today that there isn't a "single shred of evidence" that regulations hurt the economy, former Democratic Senator and Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh reminds us in an Evansville Courier Press op-ed this week that bad implementation of regulations do indeed threaten jobs:

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposed Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule will put tens of thousands of jobs in our state directly at risk by affecting Hoosiers' utilities that rely on coal-fired power to keep our lights on and manufacturing facilities working. Power plants that cannot reasonably afford compliance costs will have to shut down and be replaced in a very short time frame by new generation and transmission at substantial cost to consumers.

What's more, Bayh worries about the proposed rule’s harmful impact on electricity supplies:

Maintaining the flow of electricity is more than a theoretical concern when several power companies have announced plant shutdowns in anticipation of the rule. Reliability concerns from EPA's rules affecting power plants are real, and they have not been properly evaluated by the agency.

Last year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) estimated that 8 percent of the country's electric generating capacity and nearly one-quarter of the coal-fired fleet was "very likely" or "likely" to be retired as the result of EPA rules.

Other assessments performed by outside groups generally agree. Measures to avoid such disruption, to include building new transmission lines or new power plants, are very costly and may be hard to complete before key plants have to shut down under EPA's proposed timeline for compliance.

Bayh advises EPA "to provide adequate time for cost-effective compliance" that takes into account jobs and maintaining electricity supplies.

Tomorrow, Sen. Bayh stops by the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce on the Chamber's Regulatory Road Show to discuss the need to restore balance to the regulatory process.

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