Study shows EPA regs will cost, not create, jobs

posted at 10:01 am on June 20, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

Earlier this month we covered the latest round of EPA regulations for the energy industry, specifically in the form of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements and the long term impact they might have on both jobs and energy prices in the United States. Now, a new independent study has quantified these projections and the news isn’t good.

A new analysis (PDF) just released by National Economic Research Associates (NERA) shows that two costly Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations on the utility industry will cost jobs and also drive up electricity prices.

Specifically, the study looked at the economic impacts of the EPA’s proposed Transport Rule and the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements for power plants. This demonstrates what we have been saying here at the National Association of Manufacturers, that the continued overreach by the EPA will hurt jobs throughout the country.

How big do they expect the impact to be? The study estimates that the proposed changes “would lead to nationwide employment losses totaling 1.44 million job-years by 2020 and increase Americans average electricity bills by 11.5 percent.” (To avoid confusion, the term “job-year” equates to one full time job for one person for one year.)

Less easily quantified, but also of great concern, is the fact that manufacturers of all stripes use approximately 1/3 of all the electricity in the country. They pay utility bills just like the average consumer, and power costs are factored into their overhead. When manufacturers see a more than 10% increase in electricity costs, those expenses will be reflected in what they must charge for their goods with the final bill once again being passed on to the consumer. (And that’s in addition to the aforementioned consumer already being hit with a bump in their own utility bills at home.)

Paging Darrell Issa to the white courtesy phone. If you really want something to hold hearings on, let’s have a bright, public spotlight trained on this situation before power plants start shutting down across the country.

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