- Posted August 20, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
EPA Regs Could Lead to Higher Energy Costs in Midwest?
A report out from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes that due to new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), consumers in the Midwest may see a rise in energy costs and instability in the power grid. The reports notes some coal-fired generators may not have time to retrofit in time to meet an EPA deadline which will cause closing of plants and laying off hundreds of workers, according to The Examier.
In a report last week to Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, the GAO said, “Several representatives from power companies and officials from federal and state regulatory agencies have expressed concerns that as companies incur additional costs in responding to these additional regulations, and as the electricity supply is affected by generating unit requirements, electricity prices could increase and reliability — the ability to meet consumers’ electricity demands — could be compromised.”
At issue are 4 specific regulations:
1. The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule
2. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards
3. The Cooling Water Intake Structures
4. The Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals
The study pointed out, “For example, a study by the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO) . . . projected that 18 percent of the coal-fueled capacity in the U.S. portion of it’s region could retire.”
Also pointed out was that maintaining the grids reliability “after potential unit requirements,” could cost between $2-$10 billion.
The EPA deadlines could be a factor, GAO noted, saying, “Available information suggests the actions the power companies take in response to the four key regulations will have costs, and some may be challenging to complete by the the regulations’ compliance deadlines.”
The GAO also reported on the cost impact stating about Kentucky for example, "In addition, these actions may have varied implications across the country — increasing electricity prices in some regions and contributing to some potential reliability challenges."
Then alluding directly to Kentucky the GAO said residents could face “increase residential electricity bills by 18 percent for one company and 10 percent for another — about $16 and $7 per month for an average customer, respectively, by 2016.”
From the Cornfield, the nation does need to address the impact and the severity of pollution on each of our lives. However, we need to take a common sense approach to the issue and address the concern with circumspection.
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