Wednesday, June 6, 2012

All of the Above, Including Coal, Makes the Most Sense

If you follow closely the recent rounds of regulations introduced by the EPA, then Utility MACT is high on your radar to watch.
Recently, Senator Inhofe (R – OK) introduced a continuing resolution for review of the EPA Utility MACT in order to stop yet another redundant regulation as the main reason the EPA says this is necessary is already covered under the existing mercury rule.
So, if it is already covered why would they introduce this legislation? That’s a good question.
As with many other laws in Congress, there are other items in the Utility MACT other than Mercury that will affect not only West Virginia but also virtually every state and its citizens.
Utility MACT ensures that all new electric generation be limited to natural gas. Although that might be great for Marcellus Shale and oil and gas exploration, that is a dangerous proposition to put all of our electric source in one basket.
As much as natural gas is inexpensive today, as the dependence on one source disproportionality goes in one direction, so does its price – up.
Not only will utility rates go up, but with the limitation on coal, and the regressive taxes associated with it also will come closure of Coal Power Plants, such as the John Amos Power Plant in West Virginia.
Closure of Coal Power Plants mean loss of coal jobs and shutting down of coal mines, which in turn has tens of thousands of jobs just in WV,  not to mention Kentucky, Ohio and Pennsylvania not only mining the coal but the multiple industries and businesses that support the coal industry.

The ramifications of the Utility MACT are endless as the snow ball continues to roll down hill and get larger and larger so will the utility prices and job losses if it is not repealed.
If we want to see the Utility MACT go away, one thing we can do is contact Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and ask him to continue supporting its repeal but also that he reminds his colleagues in the Senate that many of their electric power is originated in WV and everyone will be impacted, not just WV.