NMA Calls EPA’s Rules for Existing Power Plants a Flawed Approach that Will Raise Rates for Consumers and Businesses; Puts U.S. Electric Grid in Jeopardy

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn issued the following statement on the unveiling of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed New Source Performance Standard for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-based power plants that generate 40 percent of the nation’s electricity:

These rules are another step by the administration to take us to a more expensive and less secure energy future. They embody unrealistic measures that move America's electric grid away from the low cost and reliable power our economy needs to grow.

These regulations, if finalized, would be a loss for American consumers, manufacturers and businesses nationwide, but especially for those in states that rely on low cost electricity from coal. Also on the losing end are middle class and lower-income Americans and retirees on fixed incomes who will bear the brunt of higher power bills and lower economic growth that follow from putting the country on a fixed energy budget.

There’s no doubt that EPA’s approach will raise the cost of electricity for consumers while further imperiling the reliability of the electric grid. EPA’s previous power plant rules have pushed our nation’s electric grid close to the edge of breaking, as we saw this past winter, and this new rule could finally break it. This is a major gamble that America cannot afford to make.

NMA is committed to working with members of Congress, state elected officials, and other leaders to pursue a much different pathway for this country, one that includes higher efficiency coal power plants using our nation’s abundant coal reserves to generate low cost, reliable electricity with lower emissions.

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“It would be nice if the country’s leaders would visit southern Illinois, talk to some folks, and see what kind of contribution coal is making to the local economy. It would be even nicer if those same folks -- politicians, regulators and activists -- would visit eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and southern West Virginia to explain why it has become so important to them to destroy those economies and the lives of families in those regions.”

IHS Coal & Energy newsletter’s Jim Thompson in his Oct. 22 Market Commentary.