[ PRINT ]

EPA Agenda vs Job Creation


by Mark Wohlschlegel

You can’t have your proverbial “cake and eat it too.”  The EPA is out of control and must be controlled! The liberal agenda of Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator supported by our current administration will continue to drive US companies abroad thereby exacerbating the unemployment situation in our country.  There are mutliple initiatives now being promulgated by the EPA  that could have significant negative effect on costs to industry and consumers.  For example, the utility MACT is the most immediate threat.  The rules would affect power plants responsible for nearly half of the power generation in the nation!

Don’t listen to the EPA “BS” that claims this legislation will provide employment  for thousands by supporting 31,000 short-term construction jobs!  By the way, since when is the EPA’s charter to create jobs!  The very fact that they mention this should give rise to big concerns!

The truth is that all these restrictions and costs associated with the initiatives do not produce one single kilowatt hour of electricity. For instance, a retrofitted scrubber will consume about 8% of the output of the plant during the life of the plant.  This means the plant will generate less revenue and  the electricity produced will be even more expensive for consumers and other industries.   With production costs moving higher, industries will lose their competitive edge and begin to move offshore,  More Americans will lose their jobs while the cost of living will get higher.  The EPA claims the impact of the MACT is $10.9BB but how many times has a federal government agency ever had their budgeted cost numbers right?  In fact, most of the times, they end up costing 10x more than their estimates.  Industry sources estimate the cost to the utilities to retrofit their plants at closer to $100BB.  The cost to ratepayers is expected to be 25% higher electricity rates.

The MACT initiative is moving fast.  The EPA has requested comments during the month of July but a court decree allows for a chance of a schedule delay.  The regulations include a 171 page proposal, 19 technical support documents

These are some of the most significant and costly rules the EPA has ever proposed—but I guess we would not expect the EPA to be concerned about cost!

The EPA is moving ahead with these costly initiatives despite the fact that our air quality in the US is better than it has been in 40 years—and that power plants account for less than a half percent of mercury emissions.  In fact, this is not a US issue, it is a global issue.  Particulate matter emissions are also included.  Fact: Since 1970, coal-fired electricity which now produces 50% of our nations power at low costs have increased 57 percent—at the same time, emissions from these plants are down 93.1 percent.  Sulfur emissions are down 56.8% according to government and industry sources.  Oxides of nitrogen are down 38.7%.  Utilities have cut mercury emissions by 40 percent.  Today, the nation’s power plants are responsible for less than 50 tons of mercury emissions per year—the lowest ever while Chinese power plants alone emit 400 tons/year and get this—natural sources produce up to 10,000 tons/year.

You can see, the EPA is out of control, impervious to cost and impact on our country, jobs, etc.  Burdensome, costly regulations are not the way to encourage competition, investment, or job creation.  Our country is struggling from a severe economic downturn.  With unchecked and irresponsible federal agencies like the EPA promulgating ridiculous regulations how are we to get back on track to enjoy an affordable life and a thriving job market.  The proposed EPA regulations are counterproductive in a big way, and in most cases, we are at the point of diminishing return—where a small, very small incremental improvement in air or water quality results in a huge investment!

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