Power Plant Regs Expected to Cost Consumers Billions Annually

May 28, 2014

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy today released a new report forecasting that EPA’s plans to regulate carbon emissions from existing power plants will cost the U.S. economy over $50 billion a year, eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and significantly raise energy prices for American consumers and businesses. Using information from the NRDC’s regulatory proposal and the administration’s announced emissions reduction goals, the Chamber’s new report, "Assessing the Impact of Potential New Carbon Regulations in the United States," found EPA’s new carbon dioxide regulations for existing power plants would:

  • Lower U.S. Gross Domestic Product by $51 billion on average every year through 2030
  • Lead to 224,000 fewer U.S. jobs on average every year through 2030
  • Force U.S. consumers to pay $289 billion more for electricity through 2030
  • Lower total disposable income for U.S. households by $586 billion through 2030

President Obama is expected to unveil EPA’s proposed regulations for existing power plants next Monday. In announcing the proposal, the president is expected to promise global leadership on climate change, but likely missing from his speech will be any acknowledgement of the damaging economic impacts of his actions on America’s middle-class families and the nation’s poor and unemployed. The Chamber’s analysis found,Higher electricity prices ripple through the economy and reduce discretionary income, which affects consumer behavior, forcing them to delay or forego some purchases or lower their household savings rates.” The president will also surely dodge the fact that even his own administration has acknowledged that it is “unlikely” any of EPA’s rules would have a meaningful impact on the global climate.

The Chamber’s report concludes, “Given the significant and sustained harm to the U.S economy coupled with the limited overall impact on worldwide greenhouse gas emissions that would result from implementing these regulations, serious questions must be raised and answered about the timing and scope of what EPA is pursuing.”

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has been seeking answers on the administration’s climate change agenda, and has promised to continue its robust oversight of EPA. “The president’s radical EPA regulations have attacked affordable and reliable electricity for the American people. The fact the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recognizes that Obama’s overreach will cost billions of dollars and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs shows how out of touch from reality the Obama administration is,” said Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY). “There is no question EPA’s power plant rules will raise energy prices and put people out of work, but there are still several questions about the extent of the economic consequences, how these rules will change our climate, and how they will affect our energy reliability. Unfortunately, I don’t expect any answers from President Obama next week, but we will continue our work to get the facts and protect Americans from these devastating regulations.”

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