In an effort to bring pollution under control from coal-burning power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency is finalising rules that could shutter dozens of older plants.According to The Washington Post:
Industry groups such the Edison Electric Institute, which represents investor-owned utilities, and the American Legislative Exchange Council have dubbed the coming rules “EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck.” The regulations, they say, will cost utilities up to $129 billion and force them to retire one-fifth of coal capacity. Given that coal provides 45 per cent of the country’s power, that means higher electric bills, more blackouts and fewer jobs. The doomsday scenario has alarmed Republicans in the House, who have been scrambling to block the measures. Environmental groups retort that the rules will bring sizeable public health benefits, and that industry groups have been exaggerating the costs of environmental regulations since they were first created.
So, who’s right? This month, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, which conducts policy research for members of Congress, has been circulating a paper that tries to calmly sort through the shouting match. Thanks to The Hill’s Andrew Restuccia, it’s now available (PDF) for all to read. And the upshot is that CRS is awfully sceptical of the “train wreck” predictions.
[credit provider=”Washington Post” url=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/getting-ready-for-a-wave-of-coal-plant-shutdowns/2011/08/19/gIQAzkZ0PJ_blog.html”]
The plan is of course more complex than it would seem on the surface. Check out the full article at The Washington Post.