According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent Regulatory Impact Analysis, the sweeping new mandates forcing unprecedented carbon emission standards on coal-fired power plants will have a completely benign effect on states like Kentucky, which relies on coal for well over 90% of its electricity needs.
The EPA projects “that the industry will choose to construct new units that already meet these [carbon emission] standards, regardless of this proposal. As a result, EPA anticipates that the proposed [carbon emission mandate] will result in negligible CO2 emission changes, energy impacts, or costs for new units constructed by 2020. Likewise, the Agency does not anticipate any notable impacts on the price of electricity or energy supplies.”
Oh really? The EPA’s most recent paternalistic idea to save the infantile states from themselves will have zero effect on – well, anything? What’s the point of having these mandates handed down from on high by the wise and impartial bureaucrats at the EPA if their consequences are exactly zilch?
Other groups disagree with the EPA’s self-assessment of its new proposals. According to the Institute for Energy Research, “The United States has the largest coal reserves of any country in the world with 486 billion short tons of technically recoverable resources. States like Wyoming, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Montana lead the nation in producing this valuable resource for affordable electricity. If the EPA’s new rules are finalized, entire industries across the United States will be pushed out of business — and jobs with them.”
Much more likely is that the EPA’s analysis is meant to distract from the fact that mid-Atlantic bureaucrats, hostile to the benefits that cheap energy sources like coal provide to the entire Appalachian region, are once again unilaterally encroaching on state energy sovereignty through the threat of federal sanctions.
Few Kentuckians are likely to buy the EPA’s story that their newest encroachments merely reflect the natural tide of voluntary market forces. This reeks of government coercion and market interventionism as special interests in D.C. again try to pick the winners and losers for an entire sector of the economy.
Nice try, EPA, but we’re not buying what you’re trying to sell.