The Hampton Roads Chamber signed on to a letter sent to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking the withdrawal of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology or Utility MACT regulation.
The Utility MACT regulation is an attempt by the EPA to impose the most stringent and costly clean air regulation that electric generation cooperatives and investor-owned utilities have ever faced. If the Utility MACT rule goes into effect, it will cost thousands of jobs, increase energy prices and further degrade America’s economic competitiveness.
A recent study by the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) calculated that the Utility MACT regulation may result in upwards of $52 billion in higher energy costs for businesses and consumers (10-19 percent rate increases on average). The same NERA report also calculates that by 2020 the rule will cost almost 1.65 million jobs. The regulation could also potentially lead to the premature shutdown of 39.1 gigawats of coal-fueled power plants leading to an increase in blackouts. However, when EPA proposed the Utility MACT rule, it neglected to even model the economic impact of increased energy costs resulting from the rule’s implementation, effectively closing its eyes and ears to this critical information.
Twenty-five states, with bi-partisan leadership, have already spoken out through their submittal of a motion to U.S. District Court that seeks to delay the implementation of the Utility MACT rule. The states accurately contend that the EPA is forcing this rule to completion without considering the damaging impacts that Utility MACT will have on electricity prices and electric reliability. Even organized labor, specifically the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, United Mine Workers of America, and the Utility Workers Union of America, support S. 1833, a piece of legislation that would give power plants an additional 2 to 3 years to comply with the rule.
Click here to review the letter.