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Published: 13 Jan 2014

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EPA Carbon Rules: Why Americans Should Engage

As families wrestle to balance monthly budgets following the longest recession in U.S. history, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is introducing sweeping coal plant regulations that will drive up energy costs. Those who would suffer most are the middle class and families on low or fixed incomes.

EPA is proposing carbon regulations for both new and existing coal plants that, if advanced, would cause families more pain at the plug than they’ve experienced at the pump. For both rules, the EPA’s proposed actions will increase energy costs but will, in fact, have no significant impact on global climate issues because the vast majority of global carbon dioxide emissions come from natural sources.  Only a fraction of these emissions come from the use of coal-fueled power in the United States.

Coal fuels low-cost power and contributes $1 trillion to gross domestic product each year. And the states that use coal enjoy electricity rates that are 33 percent lower than other states. Carbon capture and storage technology, which the EPA is requiring for new plants, is not yet commercially available and not able to satisfy America’s need for low-cost electricity. 

The better path to achieve our economic and environmental goals is continued use of advanced “supercritical” generation. This is the best technology available off the shelf, the standard the EPA should follow, and the solution supported by the vast majority of the American people:  A recent Harris omnibus poll conducted on behalf of Peabody Energy found that 78 percent of the public supports advanced supercritical technology as the standard for new coal plants. Every large, new supercritical plant delivers the equivalent carbon benefit of removing one million cars from the road.


Make Your Voice Heard

The EPA is advancing regulations for new and existing plants and is seeking public input for both rules.

Share your concerns about proposed regulations for both new and existing plants with the EPA.  Tell the EPA to avoid regulations that will drive up electricity costs and increase dependence on less reliable, more costly energy sources for no significant impact on global carbon emissions.