Energy and Commerce Leaders Still Waiting for EPA to Release Utility MACT Cost Estimate

April 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee continue to press the administration for a transparent accounting of EPA's recently issued Utility MACT rule. Despite repeated requests from the committee, the administration has failed to provide an estimate for the total cost of what is expected to be the most expensive rule ever imposed on America's power sector. Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote today to White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew to reiterate their previous request for the total projected cost of the rule, consistent with a presidential mandate to quantify anticipated present and future costs and benefits as accurately as possible. 

The committee members cited a recent independent analysis projecting high costs and employment losses under the rule, writing, "Subsequent to our letter to you, NERA Economic Consulting has published a report estimating the net employment impact of the rule in 2015 to be a loss in income equivalent to 180,000 full-time jobs, inclusive of any job gains associated with installing retrofits and building new power plants. The report estimates present value of Gross Domestic Product losses from 2012 through 2035 would be between $84 and $112 billion dollars. NERA also estimates that EPA's rule will result in losses in disposable income ranging between $35 and $71 billion dollars during the period 2012 through 2035."

The members also stressed that an accurate cost estimate of the Utility MACT is crucial to determining the total cost and consequences of EPA's multiple power sector rules. Several power plants across the country have already announced premature closures and layoffs as a result of EPA's harsh new regulations.

"A cost estimate is critical not only for understanding the actual cost of the Utility MACT rule, but also for understanding the cumulative impact of EPA's full suite of recent and pending regulations affecting the electricity sector. These regulations include the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule finalized last year as well as other major power sector regulations that EPA has proposed and that will directly regulate existing power plants," wrote the members.

For a full copy of the letter, click here.

For the prior letter to Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, click here.

For the prior letter to Administrator Jackson, click here.