News Releases

June 20, 2012

Senators demand cease-fire in the coal war

Regulations continue Administration’s war on nation’s most abundant energy source

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is supporting a congressional resolution, S.J. Res. 37, that would prevent the EPA from striking a fatal blow to the coal industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Utility MACT rule would set emission standards for certain steam generating units beyond what are currently obtainable. This would force many coal power plants to shutdown, causing energy prices to spike.

“Since being sworn into office, President Obama’s rule-making machine has released rule-after-rule designed to make it more expensive to use coal,” said Enzi. “The cost-benefit ratio of the Utility MACT rule, assuming the EPA's best-case scenario, is 1,600-1. These costs would be passed on to consumers and will result in higher electricity prices. The Administration’s greenhouse gas standard would make it impossible to build a new coal-fired power plant in the United States.”

According to the National Economic Research Associates, the Utility MACT rule will cause between 180,000 and 215,000 job losses by 2015. Further, it found that the Utility MACT rule would increase electricity rates by 6.5 percent on average and by as much as 19.1 percent in some areas of the country.

“Coal provides low cost electricity across the country that can power our nation’s manufacturing base. It provides high paying jobs across the country at a time when our nation’s unemployment rate is at an unacceptable 8.2 percent and the most recent jobs report showed no signs that the economy is recovering. With the tremendous benefits coal can provide, it is so puzzling to me that the Administration seeks to end our use of this important, affordable energy source,” Enzi said.

The EPA estimates that the rule will create between $500,000 and $6 million in benefits related to mercury reductions at a cost of nearly $10 billion annually for implementation of the rule.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress the ability to disapprove of rules and regulations pushed by the Administration. It requires 50 votes for passage and is the only legislative vehicle available to stop the Utility MACT rule from moving forward. The vote is expected later today.

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