This week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson publicly released the finalized Utility MACT rule, a move that represents the agency’s first national standard for air pollutants from power plants, and its most expensive rule to date. PACE Executive Director Lance Brown issued the following statement in reaction to the rule.
“I am incredibly discouraged that, even with all the troubling information that has been brought to light since its introduction, the EPA moved forward in finalizing its controversial Utility MACT rule. I, along with a diverse group of elected officials, federal regulators, power suppliers and grid operators, have highlighted how the rule stands to put significant stress on consumers, local and national economies, and the reliability of the power grid, but our concerns have been repeatedly ignored by the EPA and the Administration. In fact, a recent Associated Press survey found that “more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to shut down and an additional 36 might have to close because of new federal air pollution regulations.”
“In moving forward with this burdensome rule, the Administration is choosing to turn a blind eye to its own Executive Order issued in January 2011 stating that the regulatory system must promote economic growth, job creation, and predictability while reducing uncertainty. The EPA has estimated the rule’s cost at nearly $11 billion annually, and numerous studies have shown it will result in the loss of more than one million jobs in the next decade. Even worse, consumers can now look forward to electricity bill increases well into the double digits, adding significant economic burden to those households already struggling to make ends meet.”
“At the very least, the EPA should have recognized recent emissions improvements before implementing a rule with unrealistic deadlines for compliance. The end result will restrain domestic energy, endanger jobs, and saddle consumers with higher power bills.”