CHARLESTON – The Obama Administration formally published the EPA’s final regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The regulation will endanger hundreds of power plants around the nation, raise the electric bills to the point of creating energy poverty for millions of Americans and endanger the electric grid.
“Today’s announcement by the Obama Administration of its adoption of the EPA’s ‘Costly Power Plan’ is yet another effort by this administration to hide its radical policies behind a façade of compromise,” said Bill Raney, president of the West Virginia Coal Association. “This latest iteration of the EPA’s regulatory assault against coal-fired power generation is being presented as addressing the concerns of industry, but nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, the final regulation tacks on a couple of years to the compliance timeline, but all this accomplishes is perpetuate uncertainty and provide more time for the rule to do more damage – irreversible damage – to the nation’s energy industry and electric grid.
“Grid operators, regulators, elected officials, energy experts and other concerned stakeholders across the country have raised the alarm on President Obama’s regulatory agenda and especially EPA’s carbon regulation,” Raney said. “Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. coal fleet has already been retired or is now scheduled to retire, and almost all of those retirements are attributable to EPA policies. Retirements that were motivated by a rule that the Supreme Court invalidated and remanded back to a lower court earlier this year. Sadly most of the damage from that rule is done. Once coal plants retire, they can’t be brought back to generate electricity that has been essential during times of high demand in recent years. This further illustrates the danger of unbridled bureaucrats picking winners and losers and shaping energy policy for the nation.”
The Obama Administration’s proposed carbon regulation is the most expensive ever imposed on the American people and will result in double-digit electric rate increases in 43 states according to the latest estimates. This plan reflects an elitist, fairy tale vision of what electric generation should be, however a real economy requires real energy.
“What doesn’t make any sense is the fact that the plan has a devastating impact on our jobs and lives but will only reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations by less than one half of one percent,” Raney said. “Yet they are willing to destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, bankrupt communities and ruin the lives of countless families, in order to implement their political agenda.
“Good policies are grounded in common sense, and that appears to be a resource that is almost non-existent at the EPA Headquarters and the White House,” Raney said. “Rest assured that we will fight this regulation every step of the way – through legal challenges, in the Congress and at the ballot box next year. We won’t stand by and watch as our nation is pushed into a economic quicksand.”
Raney said the Association “applauds the Legislature and the Attorney General of West Virginia for their previous efforts to protect West Virginia’s coal miners and electric consumers from this reckless and expensive plan.