“2013 Bluegrass Energy Report: The EPA’s Economic Impact on Kentucky” discusses these regulations by:
- identifying specific regulations that impact the commonwealth’s economy through higher energy costs and industry job loss
- demonstrating the effects of these higher costs on the average Kentucky family
- showing how the increased energy prices will affect the Bluegrass State’s overall economy through industry job loss, a decrease in the employment-growth rate and a decline in the growth of the State Domestic Product
- investigating the extent to which environmental regulations specifically affecting Kentucky’s coal industry will reduce negative pollution externalities
One of the primary goals of these new EPA regulations is reducing the environmental impacts of the coal industry in Kentucky, particularly the contamination of waterways and the release of coal combustion residuals into the atmosphere.
However, as the report authors point out, many of these environmental harms already are addressed by existing regulations rendering recent EPA proposals redundant.
“This isn’t a matter of coal versus the environment,” said report author Philip Impellizzeri. “It’s rather a matter of which entity should weigh the costs and benefits of our energy sector to regulate it as effectively as possible: a federal bureaucracy in the EPA or the local citizens most affected by the outcomes?”
Kentucky’s energy sector provides a unique competitive advantage among states. Low energy costs – fueled primarily by coal – make the commonwealth an attractive manufacturing destination while also providing thousands of jobs in the coal industry.
Recent proposed EPA regulations threaten to have serious impact on Kentucky’s coal industry, including higher energy costs and significant numbers of jobs lost for Kentucky citizens.
“More than anything, I think the report shows how important coal is to all Kentuckians, not just those in Appalachia,” Impellizzeri said. “The EPA’s handling of our energy sector concerns all of us.”