A loss of 2.85 million jobs, a cost of $54 billion over 15 years, and unchecked,
skyrocketing electricity and natural gas prices: that’s a steep price tag any way you slice
it. Yet that’s exactly what the EPA’s proposed regulations on existing power plants could
cost consumers and businesses. Worse, its proponents still claim these regulations will
have “no impact.”
Certainly there is a better way.
An analysis from the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) estimates that a
Natural Resources Defense Council proposal, similar to one expected soon from the
EPA to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2 ) from existing power plants under Section 111 (d)
of the Clean Air Act, could cost consumers $13 billion to $17 billion per year in higher
electricity and natural gas prices. Ratepayers in most states could face double digit
electricity price increases. Natural gas prices could increase by as much as 16 percent,
costing families and businesses up to $54 billion more between 2018 and 2033. NERA
also found that such a proposal could cause job losses as high as 2.85 million.
These findings should be a cautionary tale as EPA puts pen to paper on its first-ever
greenhouse gas regulations on existing power plants. A system like the one
evaluated by NERA will not work. To remain competitive in a global economy, we need
an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy to ensure continued access to affordable and
Businesses and consumers are relying on the agency to carefully consider the impacts
on energy prices, reliability and jobs as it rolls out this new regulatory program. The
EPA must focus on reasonable, common sense efforts that support affordable, reliable
electricity — a vital component of a healthy American economy.
The NERA analysis, sponsored by ACCCE, uses data and information from the U.S.
Energy Information Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, North
American Electric Reliability Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory,
National Environmental Technology Laboratory, and MIT.