As reported earlier by PACE, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently held a technical conference to examine growing concerns about electrical system reliability in the wake of EPA rules such as Utility MACT. As part of this process, FERC is allowing public comments on this issue with a December 9th deadline for submission.
On December 7th, PACE entered its official comments into the FERC docket. PACE’s comments focused on both the potential effects of EPA rule-making on grid reliability and the need for FERC and EPA to include more public comment on this important issue.
“Often noticeably absent from these discussions is the direct impact the EPA’s burdensome regulations will have on consumers. At a time when our economy is at its most fragile, particularly considering the super committee’s recent failure to effectively manage America’s growing deficit, it seems that the EPA remains deaf to the consumer burden these rules would have on our pocketbooks,” PACE commented. “While I appreciate that FERC is soliciting comments on the Utility MACT and other upcoming rules, the December 9th deadline for submission allows hardly enough time for the EPA to sensibly incorporate feedback into its final work product prior to its December 16th deadline finalized MACT rule deadline.”
In its comments, PACE pointed out that Utility MACT alone could affect some 40% of the nation’s base-load capacity and almost half of net generation. In fact, FERC’s own staff found that 81 gigawatts of generating capacity is “likely” or “very likely” to be taken offline by 2018 due to coal plant retirements and downgrades due to EPA rules.
“If the EPA is not held accountable, these regulations will stunt job growth, force families to stretch their already tight budgets even further, and add to the country’s seemingly ever-escalating deficit,” reads the statement. “It’s time our government agencies listen to our concerns and advocate on behalf of the hard-working Americans that will be impacted by their shortsightedness.”