The electricity price increases from the proposed EPA Utility MACT will act as a regressive tax on the elderly.
Roger H. Bezdek (firstname.lastname@example.org) is president of Management Information Services Inc. He’s authored several articles for Fortnightly since 1996, most recently “Energy Subsidy Myths and Realities,” June 2012.
EPA is proposing Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) regulations, and revisions to the New Source Performance Standards, for coal- and oil fired electric utility steam generating units under the Clean Air Act. These Utility MACT regulations are highly controversial and could result in significant impacts on coal power plants, electric reliability, electricity rates, and the national and state economies. We conducted a study of the potential impacts on elderly persons in Florida of these regulations and found the implications to be troubling.
Over the past several years, a number of studies have been conducted of the potential impacts of EPA’s proposals on the U.S. electricity system and economy. These studies indicate serious potential impacts, and they identify the Utility MACT regulations as among the most troublesome. Many of these studies recommend delay or reconsideration of the EPA regulations.
In Florida, we estimate that the EPA Utility MACT regulations would by 2015 result in an average electricity rate increase of nearly 25 percent, a gross state product (GSP) loss of nearly $18 billion, annual job losses of nearly 160,000, and lost annual state and local government revenues of $2.1 billion.