nitrogen dioxide

Electricity supply endangered by EPA regulations

The Environmental Protection Agency is promulgating new regulations regarding emissions of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone which may greatly increase the cost of electricity, cause some power plants to close, and endanger our ability to produce adequate power.

According to Investors Business Daily:

The Cross-State Pollution Rule, announced last month, and its implementation over the next 18 months will likely result in the loss of a fifth of the nation’s electricity-generating capacity.

The rule requires [coal-fired power plants] in 27 states to slash emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by 73% and 54%, respectively, from 2005 levels by 2014.

Up to 110 gigawatts of capacity came on-line between 1940 and 1969 and were grand fathered under the Clean Air Act. Now the EPA is saying bring them up to their code or shut them down.

An analysis released earlier last month by the National Economic Research Associates used government data to examine the combined impacts of this latest rule and other EPA rules and found the EPA’s actions would cause a net job loss of more than 1.4 million job-years by 2020.

Even the New York Times says “Because of new Environmental Protection Agency rules, and some yet to be written, many of those [power] plants are expected to close in coming years.”

The Washington Times reports:

The EPA said it would soon release updated ozone regulations that are going to kill jobs and impose substantial costs on the U.S. economy – at least $90 billion, by its own estimates, and $1 trillion annually between 2020 and 2030 according to industry estimates.

The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to review standards every five years. The EPA last did so three years ago. Why the rush to imposes new stricter standards two years early? Is this political science rather than real science? According to the EPA, ozone levels have been falling since 1980 and are now just 50% of what they were then.

Sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone are associated with fine particulate matter which is regulated by the EPA.

Again from the Washington Times:

What if today’s levels of air pollution didn’t kill anybody? That certainly would be bad news for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which has spent the past 15 years stubbornly defending its extraordinarily expensive and ever-tightening air-quality regulations.

The EPA claims airborne fine particulate matter kills tens of thousands annually and that the prevention of those deaths will provide society $2 trillion annually in monetized health benefits by 2020.

But we can debunk those claims with more than mere criticisms of EPA’s statistical malpractice and secret data. We have actual data that simply discredit the EPA’s claims.

Continue reading.

For the most part, current standards have been met, so the EPA is moving the goal posts. The EPA has yet to provide any solid scientific justification for these regulations. And the regulations will greatly harm our economy. But regulators tend to regulate to justify their own existence. How clean is clean enough?

For a more in-depth analysis see: Pretending Air Pollution Is Worse Than It Is from