Presidential Administrations come and go, and one thing they all have in common, even the most parsimonious of them, is that they enact thousands of pages of costly regulations that do little or nothing to protect the public’s health or enhance its welfare. The Obama administration, however, has put this trait in hyperdrive: pushing enormously costly laws, enacting destructive executive orders and publishing one after the other of maddening, unnecessary regulations.
Among the most expensive, least beneficial, ill-thought out of these regulations are those promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. In this regard, the American Legislative Exchange Council has done the public, and public servants at the local, state and national level, a great service with its publication, Economy Derailed. Which details the EPA’s regulatory train wreck.
Because I actually want you to read the report, I won’t divulge too much, but I will whet your appetite for more.
Things you will learn include:
The Utility MACT (MATS) Rule could require retrofits for up to 753 electricity-generating units, and up to 15 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 15 million households — could be forced into early retirement. The standards are so stringent that even recently permitted plants employing the best available technology cannot meet them, and no new coal plants are likely to be built. Although at odds with just about every independent cost estimate, the EPA’s estimate of annual cost is approximately $11 billion, and its estimate of annual health benefits from the reduction in mercury is only $6 million (though the benefits could be as small as $500,000).
The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule could threaten 7 gigawatts of electricity generation capacity with early retirement, which is roughly enough to power 7 million American households.
And this is just two of the regulations that the report examines. How bad is it? Bad enough to drive labor groups, trade organizations and management into each others’ arms to oppose these job killing rules. Indeed, ALEC’s report details the fact that “a broad and diverse coalition opposes EPA overreach. In sum, 32 current and former governors and lieutenant governors, 27 groups of state and local officials, 16 labor unions, 17 state legislative bodies, 10 state agencies, and 57 trade associations have openly voiced opposition to the escalating EPA expansion. This coalition represents millions of workers, thousands of state officials, tens of thousands of companies, more than 3,000 counties, more than 19,000 cities, villages, and towns, and thousands of state legislators across the country.”
Wondering how the EPA’s regulations might affect your state, Economy Derailed provides an answer. Indeed, among the most valuable portions of the report is its state by state breakdown of the cost of regulations and the job losses to be expected in each state. Let’s just say, Wes Craven and John Carpenter combined couldn’t have written a script with so scary an outcome.