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NTU urges Senators to vote “YES” on S. J. Res. 37

June 11, 2012

NTU urges Senators to vote “YES” on S. J. Res. 37, a joint resolution to disapprove the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) costly Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule.

In December of 2011, the EPA issued an impossible-to-achieve standard for coal-powered electricity plant emissions in the form of the Utility MACT Rule, adding mountains of regulation to follow for our already overburdened energy producers. This rule threatens to lead to sky-high energy costs and a massive loss of jobs. Done in the name of a so-far elusive population of pregnant women in fishing villages, the Utility MACT Rule’s massive $9.6 billion price tag far outweighs the EPA’s own estimate of $0.5 million to $6 million in direct annual benefits. In addition, the mercury reductions the EPA claims the rule accomplishes would be one-third below levels detectable by the EPA’s own compliance tools.

The rule’s unattainable emission standards effectively prevent the construction of new coal-fired power plants. Further it is already forcing coal-powered electricity producers to shut down, or plan to shut down, current plants due to a short time frame for compliance and enormous associated costs. Because the U.S. depends on these providers for almost 50 percent of our electricity, experts are anticipating a 40-60 percent spike in the price of power. It also means a great loss of jobs in economically depressed coal producing regions from West Virginia and Kentucky, to parts of Pennsylvania. National Economic Research Associates estimates a net average loss of 183,000 jobs per year through 2020 as a result of the EPA’s overzealous agenda.

The Utility MACT Rule is just one more example of the EPA’s endless power-grab, especially considering that the “co-benefits” described by the rule are already covered under the Clean Air Act. This is far from an “all of the above” energy policy. Among the few alternatives to affordable coal-produced energy are wind and solar energy, which so far have often been unreliable and expensive for consumers. Higher energy bills and increased unemployment are an unacceptable price to pay to solve a nonexistent problem.

Roll call votes on S. J. Res. 37 will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.

If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700