Today the Obama administration announced new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency with a goal of reducing carbon emissions over the next 15 years. The new regulations impose significant restrictions on power plants already in existence, including natural gas plants.
First, here are the goals and reasons for the regulations as outlined by the EPA:
Our climate is changing, and we’re feeling the dangerous and costly effects right now.
-Average temperatures have risen in most states since 1901, with seven of the top 10 warmest years on record occurring since 1998.
-Climate and weather disasters in 2012 cost the American economy more than $100 billion.
Although there are limits at power plants for other pollutants like arsenic and mercury, there are currently no national limits on carbon.
-Children, the elderly, and the poor are most vulnerable to a range of climate-related health effects, including those related to heat stress, air pollution, extreme weather events, and others.
Nationwide, the Clean Power Plan will help cut carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent from 2005 levels.
-Power plants are the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
-The proposal will also cut pollution that leads to soot and smog by over 25 percent in 2030.
Americans will see billions of dollars in public health and climate benefits, now and for future generations.
-The Clean Power Plan will lead to climate and health benefits worth an estimated $55 billion to $93 billion in 2030, including avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.
States and businesses have already charted the path toward cleaner, more efficient power.
-States, cities and businesses are already taking action.
-The Clean Power Plan puts states in the driver’s seat to a cleaner, more efficient power fleet of the future by giving them the flexibility to choose how to meet their goals.
With EPA’s flexible proposal, we can cut wasted energy, improve efficiency, and reduce pollution – while still having all the power we need to grow our economy and maintain our competitive edge.
-The agency’s proposal is flexible—reflecting the different needs of different states.
-The proposal will put Americans to work making the U.S. electricity system less polluting and our homes and businesses more efficient, shrinking electricity bills by roughly 8 percent in 2030.
-It will keep the United States—and more importantly our businesses—at the forefront of a global movement to produce and consume energy in a better, more sustainable way.
The EPA will work with state governments to implement and enforce new rules.
The Clean Power Plan will be implemented through a state-federal partnership under which states identify a path forward using either current or new electricity production and pollution control policies to meet the goals of the proposed program. The proposal provides guidelines for states to develop plans to meet state-specific goals to reduce carbon pollution and gives them the flexibility to design a program that makes the most sense for their unique situation. States can choose the right mix of generation using diverse fuels, energy efficiency and demand-side management to meet the goals and their own needs. It allows them to work alone to develop individual plans or to work together with other states to develop multi-state plans.
Next, here are the things you need to know about how the regulations will negatively impact the economy.
-New regulations will kill 226,000 American jobs.
-New regulations will cost the U.S. economy $51 billion per year.
-Even with new regulations, carbon is only expected to decrease by 1.8 percent by 2030.
-Despite EPA claims new regulations will reduce the cost of power, electricity rates are expected to go up. Details from AP:
Electricity prices are probably on their way up across much of the U.S. as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations and economic forces.
New and tighter pollution rules and tough competition from cleaner sources such as natural gas, wind and solar will lead to the closings of dozens of coal-burning plants across 20 states over the next three years. And many of those that stay open will need expensive retrofits.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Center for Energy and Environment Myron Ebell talked about these rules recently on Fox Business and warned about how the regulations make it impossible to build new coal power plants.
So, who do these new regulations affect the most? Rural and poor communities.
"The bottom line is that this new rule will kill good-paying jobs in rural communities throughout the country. In Arizona, this proposal will likely force the Navajo Generating Station to close its doors, which will mean the permanent loss of nearly a 1,000 good-paying jobs," Arizona Republican Rep. Paul Gosar said in a statement, vowing to fight the regulations and EPA overreach.
But it isn't just Republicans speaking out against this latest executive power grab, Democrats in coal producing states are also outraged.
WVa officials fired up at presser held in response to new EPA regs - bipartisan fury - RepRahall (D) calls regs "devastating" "job killer"— Shannon Bream (@ShannonBream) June 2, 2014
And to wrap things up, here are your charts of the day from the Institute for 21st Century Energy showing how each region of the country will be impacted.