As we’ve noted recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) so-called “Clean Power Plan” will shutter coal plants and raise electricity rates, just as President Obama promised. A new report sheds further light on the extent of the damage.
The report, conducted by Nera Economic Consulting, finds that the carbon emissions rule would cost consumers and businesses at least $41 billion annually, or $366 billion by 2031, and cause Americans’ electric bills to rise by 10% or more in 43 states—14 of these states would see increases of 20% or more.
In addition, the proposed rule would drastically reduce the nation’s power generation capabilities, forcing the closure of 45,000 megawatts of coal production—more than the total capacity in all of New England. Despite all these costs, Nera finds the proposed rule would reduce global temperatures by just 0.02 degrees—the equivalent of less than two weeks’ worth of China’s carbon dioxide emissions.
The negative impacts of this rule are only exacerbated when coupled with the costs of additional EPA regulations, like the mercury rule. As we’ve explained before, the mercury rule stands to be the single most expensive regulation in U.S. history, with annual costs approaching $10 billion (if the carbon rule doesn’t surpass it).
While there may have been a time when additional EPA regulations were needed, air quality in the U.S. is the highest it has been in more than thirty years. However, EPA continues to propose regulations that impose steep economic costs for minimal environmental returns. The Nera report is just the latest indictment against a regulatory agency that continues to push its radical agenda at the expense of average Americans who are just trying to keep their lights on.