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Proposed EPA ozone regulation would be the costliest in U.S. history

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) completed a study of the impact of a new proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that shows that it would be the costliest in U.S. history, affect millions of jobs, and consumer energy costs would skyrocket, CNS News reported on Friday.

CNS News stated that the study done by NAM would reduce the Gross National Product (GNP) by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040 and will add $2.2 trillion in compliance costs during the same time period.

The study indicated that such a proposal would increase consumer and business energy costs and could place millions of jobs at risk. NAM pointed out that such a proposal would result in an average of 2.9 million fewer jobs per year through the year 2040, it would cost the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption and would increase natural gas and electricity costs for manufacturers and households across the country.

NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “Manufacturing in the United States is making a comeback, and we’re reducing emissions at the same time, but tightening the current ozone standard to near unachievable levels would serve as a self-inflicted wound to the U.S. economy at the worst possible time. This rule would undermine our work to expand manufacturing in the United States, making it almost impossible to increase operations, create new jobs or keep pace internationally.”

NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Ross Eisenberg added, “We are rapidly approaching a point where we are requiring manufacturers to do the impossible. The EPA is considering setting ozone levels below what exists at national parks, such as Yellowstone and Denali. It is vital that the Obama Administration allow existing ozone standards to be implemented rather than move the goalposts with another set of requirements for manufacturers… trillions of dollars are at stake.”

As the new EPA proposed regulation is catching the eye of several states, Paul Bowers, Chairman, President and CEO of Georgia Power in Georgia sent an urgent message to Georgia consumers through email on Friday.

Bowers stated that if the EPA draft rules on greenhouse gas emissions were ever finalized and implemented, it will have a significant impact in the price of electricity for all citizens in Georgia.

Bowers said, “We know at least three things now. First, the rule is an illegal approach that usurps the authority of each state. Second, the goals, as written, are unachievable and take away the ability of Georgia’s electric generators to continue to run our fleets as optimally as possible, helping to keep reliability high and prices low. Third, electricity rates will go up, something acknowledged in EPA’s own estimates. Just how much rates will increase depends on natural gas prices and other unknowns. But make no mistake; this proposal will impact every Georgian’s electricity bill.”

“Also troubling is the fact that the proposed rule doesn’t contemplate steps already taken and Georgia’s utilities have taken a leadership role in investing in clean energy sources such as new nuclear, something that appears to be ignored by the proposal,” Bowers said.

“Also ignored is the fact that Georgia’s carbon emissions have been reduced. Between 2005 and 2012, Georgia reduced its CO2 emissions by 30 percent, “Bowers added. “Under the proposed plan, the state would be required to reduce its emission rate by another 44 percent between 2012 and 2030. EPA’s reward for leadership by Georgia’s citizens, state elected officials, and utilities is to discount credit for early action in this space and double down on the goal that Georgians are expected to meet.”

Bowers pointed out that it was doubtful that Congress ever intended for EPA’s regulations to have such far-reaching consequences for the national economy and the energy sector.

“The EPA should withdraw this proposal and start over within the boundaries of its authority… giving full credits for early action while continuing to respect the consumer-protecting economic forces that currently govern our state’s successful energy policy,” Bowers said.

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule to regulate CO2 emissions from existing power plants is the most complex rule the agency has ever issued. Moreover, it is unprecedented in scope and reach, and the agency’s authority to even implement it, is questionable.”

Also on Friday, the American Petroleum Institute introduced a map showing how the new EPA regulation would harm the economy in each state and can be viewed here.

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