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NAM gauges reaction to EPA regulations, AIM studying harmful effects

Following the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement this week of new regulation on carbon emissions, the National Association of Manufacturers and Associated Industries of Missouri moved cautiously in hopes that individual states may be able to soften the blow on the economy the regulations at first suggest.

“Everyone knows, including the EPA, these new regulations will drive up energy prices for manufacturers and consumers well above their current rates,” said AIM president Ray McCarty. “We want to examine the regulations and collect information from reliable sources before we talk about specifics, but we know the impact of these regulations will be harmful to the Missouri economy, where we get 82% of our electricity from the coal the regulation seeks to outlaw.  AIM will continue to study the situation and issue a policy statement in the days to come.”

Below is a Wednesday article from the NAM blog.

New Rules Affecting Power Plants Generate Mixed Reactions.

Roll Call (6/3, Sanchez, Subscription Publication) reports that Senate Democrats “from energy-producing states blasted” the EPA’s rules, but “most of the party fell in line behind” the President’s “biggest second-term domestic initiative.” For example, Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, in a “tough re-election campaign,” said, “While it is important to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, this should not be achieved by EPA regulations. Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe.” Asked if the issue could pose problems for “coal-state Democrats,” Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “The president thinks this is the right thing to do and it is consistent with actions taken to reduce pollution caused by lead or mercury, caused by arsenic.” In an editorial, the Wall Street Journal (6/4, Subscription Publication) says that the new regulations are potentially endangering Democrats from energy-rich states. The Journal says that the President is hoping that money from green fundraisers such as Tom Steyer will mitigate the damage.

Bloomberg News (6/4, Drajem) reports that the Administration will “revise its proposal to fight climate change in the next year if individual states show they can’t meet the targets,” EPA Administrator McCarthy said. McCarthy “said she expects ‘significant’ revisions in the state emission goals before a final rule is issued next year” in an interview with Bloomberg, adding, “I put out a proposal that I believe will allow everybody to get at a table and roll their sleeves up,” and now the EPA expects “a lot of give and take with the states.” The Wall Street Journal (6/4, Harder, Mundy, Subscription Publication) says that the new regulations will hit states unevenly. Those hardest hit will be states that generate the majority of their power from coal-fired power plants, such as Kentucky.

McConnell Introduces Legislation To Block New EPA Rules Affecting Coal Power Plants. The Louisville (KY) Courier-Journal (6/3) reports Mitch McConnell “followed through on his threat” Tuesday and introduced legislation in the Senate that attempts to block the new coal power plant greenhouse gas emission rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. McConnell called the new EPA rules “a massive, big-government boondoggle” that doesn’t do what the Obama Administration claims it will do. The legislation McConnell introduced will “require the secretary of labor to certify that the EPA rules would not result in job losses; the Congressional Budget office to certify that rules would not result in a drop in the Gross Domestic Product; the Energy Information Administration to certify that the regulations would not hike electric rates; and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to certify that the rules would not affect the reliability of the electricity grid,” before the new rules will be allowed to be implemented.

NYTimes, USA Today Analyses: Some Carbon Downsides To Natural Gas. The New York Times (6/4, Wald, Subscription Publication) reports that the “conventional wisdom” is that natural gas “drives down American emissions of carbon dioxide, by substituting for carbon-rich coal,” and the Administration’s plan “relies on that.” However, the Times says that “in other ways, cheap natural gas drives emissions up.” The Times says that it does so by pricing nuclear plants out of the power market, and by failing to be successfully collected during extraction, either being flared off or entering the atmosphere.

USA Today (6/4, Koch) reports that the Administration’s “historic plan” to reduce emissions from existing power plants “could hasten the nation’s shift from coal toward natural gas, energy efficiency and renewable sources such as wind and solar.” USA Today says that the changeover is already underway.

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