EPA Regulations To Cause Double-Digit Electricity Price Increases In Nearly Every State

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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People should enjoy the relatively low electricity prices while they can this Thanksgiving season, because nearly every state could see double-digit increases in electricity rates due to federal regulations forcing coal plants to retire, according to two separate studies.

Two new studies by Energy Ventures Analysis and NERA Economic Consulting claim the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan will raise electricity prices in every state it covers, with nearly all of them seeing prices increase 10 to 25 percent by the 2030s.

Forty-six states will face double digit increases in wholesale electricity cost when the CPP is fully implemented in 2030, with 16 states projected to experience a 25+ percent increase,” according to EVA’s report that was done on behalf of the National Mining Association.

NERA’s study found that “40 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 10% or more” and “17 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 20% or more.” Another “10 states could have average retail electricity price increases of 30% or more,” according to NERA’s study, financed by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan limits carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants in the hopes of achieving 32 percent reductions by 2030. It’s the key regulation of President Barack Obama’s global warming agenda and one way he’s trying to prove to the world the U.S. is serious about tackling global warming.

But Obama’s global warming efforts could cost Americans dearly, if the EVA and NERA studies are correct. EPA says the CPP will only cost $8.4 billion per year and cause electricity prices to surge 5 percent by 2030. The agency claims the CPP will yield $26 billion to $45 billion in net health and climate benefits from fewer power plants.

The rule will also force coal-fired power plants to shut their doors, causing coal production to collapse by 25 percent — taking with it as many as 34,000 coal industry jobs by 2030.

Those impacts have states worried, which is why 26 states are suing the EPA, along with business groups and labor unions, to get the rule struck down in the courts. EVA estimates the CPP could cost Americans an “additional $214 billion for electricity between 2022 and 2030.”

NERA found the CPP could result in “expenditures increases between $29 and $39 billion [per year] from 2022 to 2033. During this time” losses to U.S. consumers range from $64 billion to $79 billion on a present value basis over the same time period” as the economy slows down under the weight of higher energy prices.

Obama says the CPP is necessary to getting other countries, like China, to agree to a treaty to cut carbon dioxide emissions on a global scale.

But Republican lawmakers and dozens of states have warned Obama his plans for a global climate treaty could be undone in the courts.

“There are significant legal limits on (President Obama’s) ability either to carry out the promises he has made in advance of Paris 2015 or to enforce any agreement arising out of the summit,” Attorneys General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia and Ken Paxton of Texas .

“When it comes to the financing, I know that a lot of people over there, the 192 countries, are going to assume that Americans are going to line up and joyfully pay $3 billion into this fund,” Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe said in hearing Thursday. “But that’s not going to happen either.”

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