Tag Archives: EPA

SAVE YOUR MONEY. YOU WILL NEED IT TO BUY ELECTRICITY.

Electricity costs are projected to rise between 11 and 24 percent over the next 2 ½ years.  The rate of increase will vary according to where you live.  American Electric Power is one of the largest generators of electric power in the United States.  Taking AEP as an example we find that five of their coal fired generating plants will be unable to meet new EPA standards and will need to be shut down.  Six more generating plants are in jeopardy of the same fate, but might be saved with expenditures of 6 to 8 billion dollars.  In some regions the cost of production will rise by 35% by the end of 2014, according to a statement by AEP.

What the present administration cannot accomplish by legislation it does through regulation.  In 2008 Obama pledged to bankrupt the coal industry with Cap and Trade legislation but was not able to get Cap and Trade through Congress.  That left the job to the Environmental Protection Agency, hence these new proposals.

Here is what the National Economic Research Associates had to say about the new regs.

Using government data for its assumptions, NERA found the rules would increase costs for the electricity sector by more than $184 billion total or about $17.8 billion per year. Average electricity prices would increase by 11.5% and in some areas of the country, the increase could be as high as 23% in states such as Tennessee and Kentucky, according to the study.

The rules would also impact employment, with an estimated loss of 1.4 million job-years by 2020. A job-year is one job for one year, according to [the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity].

“The analysis by NERA shows that these would be some of the most expensive EPA rules ever imposed on coal-fueled power plants – costing more than $180 billion, causing double-digit rate electricity rate increases in many states, and leading to substantial job losses nationwide,” ACCCE President and CEO Steve Miller said in a statement Wednesday.

Details about the NERA study are available here.

And that’s not all.  Home heating costs would rise for those who use natural gas to heat their homes.  The NERA estimates the necessary conversion of some generating plants from coal to gas would increase the demand for gas by 26% causing natural gas prices to rise about 17% by the year 2016.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that the bad news is a proposal.  Proposals are not inevitable.  Congress does have the power to intervene but has shown little inclination to do so.  This is an important issue that needs more attention.

THE DIRTY WORK Part II

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Resources HHS) has announced price controls for health insurance companies. Starting in 2011, insurance companies will need to get permission from the Obama Administration to raise prices more than 10%. That move is a prime example of law by fiat, simply by the decree of a government official.

In another example, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced their “net neutrality rules” last Tuesday. Government control of the Internet was launched with that announcement. Price controls and Internet control are both major issues, yet they were launched by un-elected presidential appointees. There was no Congressional debate, no review and no opportunity to hear opposing views. That is how the dirty work will get done over the next two years.

Many paragraphs of the law enacted by the passing legislative body began, literally or figuratively, “the regulator shall determine….” Broad powers were given to the regulators. This was by design. Such a plan enables presidential appointees to do as they or the president pleases.

The 111th Congress did not pass any significant global warming legislation despite their desire and opportunity to do so. We are encouraged by their failure. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last Thursday that it will regulate power plants and oil refineries to combat global warming. What cannot be accomplished by “legal” law may be accomplished by “regulatory” law.”

The coming battle will be between the central planning experts and the people as represented by the Republican, and dare we say, the Tea, parties. Look for Obama to play the good cop, the bi-partisan cop, while his operatives do the dirty work. Good cop, bad cop, still a cop.