WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled its long-promised New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing electric utilities, regardless of fuel type. These regulations are the cornerstone of the climate agenda President Obama unveiled in a speech in June at Georgetown University.
“These greenhouse gas rules are designed to complete the job that years of regulatory attacks and delayed permits started: the elimination of coal from the energy marketplace,” said Congressman Andy Barr. “The outcome of these ruinous regulations will be hundreds of thousands of Americans added to the unemployment lines and, in President Obama’s own words, electricity costs that will ‘necessarily skyrocket.’ Of course, Kentuckians already know too well the impacts of the EPA’s assaults on the coalfields – over 6,200 mining jobs lost in the last couple of years, with 525 more announced in just the last week. Employment in the Kentucky coal industry is now at its lowest level since statistics were first kept in 1927.
“This is why I am a proud original cosponsor of H.R. 3140, the Ensure Reliable and Affordable American Energy Act, introduced yesterday by Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito (WV-02) to delay these rules. This legislation prohibits the EPA from implementing the NSPS – the largest energy tax of all time – until countries totaling 80 percent of non-US global carbon emissions adopt similar emissions standards. Climate change is a global issue, and a self-inflicted wound to American economic competitiveness will do nothing to address the problem as long as polluters like China continue to ignore calls for international coordination.”
As there is currently no commercially available coal technology that could comply with the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules, the NSPS have been forecasted to lead to the loss of 69,000 megawatts of coal-fired power as existing power plants are closed. The EPA predicts no new coal plants will be built in the future under these rules. One study estimates that the impacts to the coal industry and the broader economy, particularly the manufacturing sector, due to higher energy costs arising from proposed EPA regulations will be the loss of 887,000 jobs per year.