Jackson will be joined by public health witnesses, a utility witness from MidAmerican, and epidemiologist Harvey Brenner of Johns Hopkins and University of North Texas. Brenner is perhaps best known for his studies that show that tamping down economic growth and job creation actually results in substantial increases in mortality. Therefore, utilizing Brenner's methodology, EPA's rules can ironically endanger more lives than they actually save. A recent Brenner study shows that if coal were removed from the energy mix, the adverse economic impact would result in approximately 170,000 to 370,000 premature deaths in the US within three years. There was a Wall Street Journal Editorial on the subject today (6/23/2011).
A new analysis by NERA said two of the proposed regulations would be among the most expensive ever imposed by EPA on coal-fueled power plants, dramatically increasing electricity rates and natural gas prices and leading to substantial job losses. The analysis was sponsored by the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) and relies on government data for almost all of its assumptions. NERA projects that EPA’s proposals would result in employment losses of over 1.4 million job-years by 2020 and increase electricity rates by over 23 percent in some areas of the United States. A job-year is one job for one year. In addition, consumers will be paying over $8 billion per year in higher natural gas prices because of the proposed rules.
NERA analyzed the combined economic impacts of the EPA’s proposed Transport Rule and its Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) requirements for power plants. The analysis projects that the two regulations alone would cost the American electric sector nearly $18 billion per year, making them some of the most expensive EPA regulations ever imposed on power plants and leading to higher electricity rates and lost jobs. If enacted, the regulations would lead to nationwide employment losses totaling 1.44 million job-years by 2020 and increase Americans’ average electricity bills by 11.5 percent. In some parts of the United States, rates would climb by almost 24 percent. Earlier this year, ACCCE released a report showing electricity has experienced relatively low price increases since 2001, compared to other energy sources used by American households. Coal currently provides nearly one-half of America’s electricity supply, and has contributed to the relative stability of consumer electricity prices. (Frank Maisano)