Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland, R-Ga. (3rd CD), issued the following statement:
It looks like the president’s Road to Regulation Nation is truly never ending. And nowhere is this more evident than in the energy industry. After he failed at passing his unpopular cap-and-trade legislation, President Obama turned to his favorite agency – the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – and is slowly having them enact cap-and-trade through unnecessary and harmful regulations.
Over the last three years, the EPA has issued some of the most costly regulations on power plants in their history. By 2016, the Utility MACT regulation is expected to cost $9.6 billion annually in direct costs (http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/Media/file/Hearings/Energy/20120208/HMTG-112-HHRG-IF03-20120208-SD001.pdf ), and some analysts estimate its total indirect costs closer to $100 billion. The Cross State Air Pollution Rule is expected to cost $1.4 billion in 2012 and is expected to impact 148 power plants in Georgia alone. And, according to the president’s own Commerce Department, the Boiler MACT regulations are expected to affect more than 200,000 boilers and will cost between 40,000 and 60,000 jobs (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/05/epas-boiler-mact-rules-still-a-threat ). According to the Institute for Energy Research (IER), 34 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity ( http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Power-plants-to-close-because-of-EPAs-regs-April-20-update.pdf ) are now set to retire because of the Utility MACT and CSAPR rules. That’s nearly 10 percent of our coal energy capacity.
And the impact of that can already be felt. In fact, according to a recent study by the Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (http://www.americaspower.org/half-us-families-have-seen-energy-costs-nearly-double-past-ten-years ), more than half of U.S. households devote more than 20 percent of their income to energy costs. That’s nearly double what they spent just ten years ago. Remember, when the president was running for office in 2008 he promised that his energy policies would mean “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqHL404zhcU ).” Guess he wasn’t kidding.
And unfortunately, it looks like that is just the beginning. Earlier this year, the EPA announced yet another set of regulations aimed at power plants. The New Source Performance Standard (http://epa.gov/carbonpollutionstandard/pdfs/20120327proposal.pdf ), as it is known, would limit carbon dioxide emissions by newly built power plants to no more than 1,000 pounds per megawatt of electricity produced. The average coal plant emits 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. That means this new regulation requires newly built coal-fired power plants to cut their emissions by almost 50 percent. The majority of coal plants will be unable to do this for any kind of reasonable cost, so essentially this new regulation effectively bans the building of any new coal-fired power plant.
With fewer coal-fired plants, we will see the energy supply decrease. That’s because whether the president and environmentalists like it or not, coal currently accounts for almost half of the electricity generated in this country (http://www.americaspower.org/half-us-families-have-seen-energy-costs-nearly-double-past-ten-years ). And, when the energy supply decreases while the demand for energy increases, prices will, as the president said, “necessarily skyrocket.”
Next week I will highlight how the Obama Administration’s limitations on offshore drilling have caused energy prices to increase. I encourage you to visit my website ( http://westmoreland.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=618&Itemid=436 ) each week to check out the latest edition of Power the Nation ( http://westmoreland.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=618&Itemid=436 ).