NMA Warns EPA’s Proposed Greenhouse Gas Rules Will Put States and Families on a ‘Restricted Energy Diet’
“These regulations, if finalized, would be harmful for American consumers, manufacturers and businesses nationwide, but especially for those in states that rely on low-cost electricity from coal,” said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. “Middle-class and lower-income Americans and retirees on fixed incomes will face higher power bills—and suffer disproportionately from the lower economic growth that is sure to follow implementation of regulations that in effect put the entire country on a fixed energy budget.”
Among other things, the new standard would:
Compromise America’s competitive position. U.S. manufacturers count on a steady, predictable supply of affordable electricity. Eliminating coal from the energy mix will force power companies to rely on other, more costly energy sources for generation, driving up U.S. production costs to the advantage of foreign competitors.
Force jobs overseas. Higher production costs will compel manufacturers to move jobs to markets like China and India, where companies have access to a plentiful supply of low-cost power. This would only lead to higher global emissions as countries like China and India use energy less efficiently than the US.
Destabilize the U.S. energy market. By minimizing coal’s role in the energy mix, the standard will reduce America's diverse and low-cost energy resources, which are critical to supporting the economy.
Drive up costs to consumers. Coal is simply America’s most affordable, dependable energy resource, today providing 40 percent of the nation’s power. In California—which has almost no in-state coal-generated power, and where out-of-state coal-generation provides 8 percent of the state’s power—consumers pay an average retail price that is 45 percent higher than the national average.
Force consumers to make difficult economic decisions. The new standard is a regressive energy/carbon tax that inflicts harm most directly on consumers with fixed incomes and middle- and lower-income families. It is a policy that will force some Americans to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.
Threaten the well-being of the American public. Surges in demand, such as the one during last winter’s cold spell, strained the nation’s power grid to its capacity—with the spike in demand satisfied almost exclusively by coal-generated power. Dropping coal plants from the mix will imperil the reliability of the grid, leading to forced black-outs and brown-outs, and affecting the quality of life of Americans.
“Our environmental policies must reflect a balanced approach that takes the economic well-being of all Americans particularly those that are most vulnerable into consideration. Let’s not pursue policies that lead to more expensive energy, suppress growth in energy-intensive industries like manufacturing and impact the livelihoods of Americans.” Quinn said.
The National Mining Association (NMA) is the voice of the American mining industry in Washington, D.C. Membership includes more than 325 corporations involved in all aspects of coal and solid minerals production including coal, metal and industrial mineral producers, mineral processors, equipment manufacturers, state mining associations, bulk transporters, engineering firms, consultants, financial institutions and other companies that supply goods and services to the mining industry.