Business chamber skeptical of EPA’s Clean Power Plan
While the plan aims to reduce the electricity sector’s greenhouse gas emissions by requiring significant reductions from coal-fired power plants, the chamber warns of a possible risk to reliability across the energy grid if regulators require an overabundance of alternative energy.
“By any reasonable measure, these aggressive, far-reaching rules will increase energy costs for consumers and businesses in order to produce a negligible reduction in global carbon emissions,” Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said. “The EPA has previously admitted that this rule will result in relatively small reductions in global emissions of less than 2 percent.”
The plan could affect the commonwealth radically, as the EPA predicts a 6 to 7 percent increase in energy prices in the next five years and between $5.4 and 7.4 billion in compliance expenses; a third-party economic analysis revealed that the state’s prices could increase by more than 14 percent.
Consequently, the chamber advocated for passing Act 175 of 2014, which requires that Pennsylvania’s compliance plan prioritize least-cost compliance options and gain General Assembly endorsement before going to the EPA for approval.
“The EPA’s Clean Power Plan jeopardizes Pennsylvania’s role as an energy leader,” Barr added. “In order to have a strong and robust electric grid that can affordably and reliably provide power, we need to embrace all forms of energy production and recognize the important role that coal, nuclear and natural gas play in our energy portfolio.”