Thursday, December 22, 2011

EPA Regulations - #3512 - EPA Officially Releases Utility MACT Rule - Hot Air (2) Electricity Cost Skyrocket, $300.00 per Household - The Blaze

Ah, transparency. Clearly concerned to achieve maximum visibility, the Environmental Protection Agency officially released a whopper of a rule the Wednesday before Christmas. How kind of environmental officials!  This afternoon, the EPA announced regulations that will require power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxics within the next three years. In other words, the rule targets coal-fired power plants. Sure, coal is a “dirty” form of energy and, yes, it is a fossil fuel, but, unfortunately, these regulations will cost the country too much to justify.  According to Scott Segal, the director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, this rule — commonly known as the Utility MACT rule (MACT stands for “maximum achievable control technology”) — is the most expensive air rule the EPA has ever proposed in terms of direct costs.

“Utility MACT will undermine job creation in the United States in several different ways,” Segal explained. “It will result in retirement of a significant number of power plants and either fail to replace that capacity or replace it with less labor-intensive forms of generation. It will increase the cost of power, undermining the international competitiveness of almost two dozen manufacturing industries, and it will reduce employment upstream in the mining sectors. All told, it is anticipated that the rule will result in the loss of some 1.44 million jobs by 2020. While some jobs are created by complying with the new rule, the number and quality of those jobs is far less than those destroyed. We estimate that for every one temporary job created, four higher-paying permanent jobs are lost.”  Read more........

Electricity Costs Skyrocket, $300.00 more per Household - The Blaze - A recent USA Today analysis has found that electric bills have skyrocketed in the last five years, averaging $1,419 per U.S. household for electricity in 2010, which is $300 more than five years ago. Last year was the fifth consecutive yearly increase above the inflation rate for electricity, the largest sustained increase since a run-up in electricity prices during the 1970s.  While you may first excuse this troubling increase as the result of the multitude of new iProducts and other electronics currently charging in your household, modern electronics and appliances require far less electricity than older models did. TIME Moneyland blog notes that a new refrigerator requires half the electricity of its early ’90s counterpart, with today’s air-conditioners consuming far less electricity as well.   Today points to greater electricity use at home and higher prices per kilowatt hour as both driving the higher costs. Prices alone have climbed to a record 11.8 cents per residential kilowatt hour so far this year. USA Today writes that this increase “reflects higher fuel prices and the expense of replacing old power plants, including heavily polluting — but cheap to operate — coal plants that don’t meet federal clean air requirements.”  Read more........

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