New EPA Rules Will Increase Electricity Costs

Only a few weeks after the failure of the Murkowski resolution to block the EPA’s power grab, the agency is seeking approval of a new regulation that could significantly increase the cost of electricity in Pennsylvania.

The new Clean Air Interstate rule seeks to cut sulfur dioxide emissions by 71%, from 2005 levels, by 2014 and nitrogen oxide levels by 52%. Beginning in 2012, the program would cost nearly $3 billion a year to operate, but the EPA says improved health from reducing emissions would save billions in health care dollars.

Coal power plants will incur new expenses for new equipment (like scrubbers) or by closing old plants to comply with the regulations. Either way it’s consumers who will pay for it, as electricity becomes more expensive.

Dan Riedinger, a spokesman for the Edison Electric Institute, summed it up saying,

[The standard] leaves the power sector exposed to a great deal of regulatory uncertainty.