NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

New Environmental Protection Agency Rules Will Increase Cost of Energy

June 15, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two new rules it wants to impose on utilities that use coal.  But the rules make sense only if you want less energy, higher prices and fewer jobs, says Investor's Business Daily.

Broadly, the new EPA rules seek to clean up the air.  But at what cost?

  • According to a study by the economic consulting firm National Economic Research Associates conducted for the coal industry, the two new rules mentioned above will by themselves cost electric utilities $184 billion by 2030 and kill 1.4 million jobs.
  • The cost of energy will shoot up 11 percent to 23 percent in just a few years.

In the pipeline, according to a study by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the EPA has 30 major regulations and more than 170 new major policy rules that will create massive new costs for utilities.

Such hyperactive regulation is taking a toll.  According to the Heritage Foundation's Nicolas Loris, new EPA rules force "utilities to file for significant rate hikes in years to come because of the upgrades they will have to make or the complete shutdown of older plants."

Utilities aren't the only energy sector being hurt by government regulation.  Exxon Mobil just announced a massive new oil find: 700 million barrels of crude more than a mile deep just waiting to be drilled in the Gulf of Mexico.  Only problem: The Obama administration still has a moratorium on drilling permits.

Source: "U.S. Goes On an Energy Starvation Diet," Investor's Business Daily, June 9, 2011.

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