President Barack Obama is ignoring heated concerns from within his own administration that new Environmental Protection Agency coal industry regulations will be economically devastating.
The EPA is plowing forward with new Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) mandates. The regulations would force coal energy plants to install giant scrubber-like materials inside smokestacks to capture and cleanse carbon particles before their atmospheric release.
The upgrade cost would fall on company employees and coal miners in the form of layoffs, as well as on businesses, which could expect to pay more for energy.
In a lengthy letter to EPA Director Lisa Jackson, Obama’s Small Business Administration advocacy office wrote the EPA “may have significantly understated” the economic “burden this rulemaking would impose on small entities.”
One Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce vice president, Tonya Fischer, told The Daily Caller the entire state of Indiana would be “devastated” by these regulations. “We are definitely in opposition to [the MACT regulations] because it would be devastating for the state of Indiana.” She adds that local businesses, which are struggling with the tough economy already, would be forced to pick up the extra energy production costs Obama’s EPA is pushing. “We get 95 percent of our electricity from coal.”
“The cost to convert those facilities would be passed on to the small business owners, or basically shut them [the coal energy producing facilities] down altogether,” Fischer said. “It would become cost-prohibitive for them [local businesses] to continue paying their electricity bills.”
If the EPA regulations aren’t halted, Fischer expects unemployment numbers in Indiana to skyrocket. “This has got to affect tens of thousands of jobs in the area because, not only would you lose the employees from the coal facilities, the plants themselves would become more streamlined so you’d lose jobs there and, of course, the small and local businesses.”