New England states, feeling threatened by increased pollution from Midwest coal-fired generation, recently began lobbying for tougher national environmental standards tied to electric deregulation legislation. The perceived threat is based on the belief that coal-fired plants in the Midwest with excess capacity will increase exports to higher-cost New England states. This increased generation and exportation could lead to more pollution in the New England states. However, several recent analyses by Resource Data International suggest that such an argument ignores both the physical and economic realities of the U.S. electricity system.
The first reality is that the Midwest has less