Rules proposed yesterday by the Biden administration to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants will cost consumers and manufacturers hundreds of billions of dollars, according to The Wall Street Journal (subscription).
What’s going on: Under draft rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, “utilities would begin phasing in … lower air-pollution targets in 2030 and have until 2042 to fully comply with the proposed standards.”
- The Clean Power Plan 2.0, as it’s being billed, also aims to cut emissions of particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide from coal-fired plants.
Why it’s important: The proposed rules, whose implementation costs EPA officials have not provided, will raise the utility bill of the average household 2% by 2030, according to the agency—and will require many power plants to purchase and install “costly carbon-capture systems.”
- One estimate put the price of retrofitting a commercial-scale natural-gas plant with carbon capture at $372 million.
Toward “net zero”: President Biden signed an executive order in 2021 to make the federal government carbon-neutral by 2050.
- Thursday’s power-plant proposal is part of a broad suite of cuts aimed at achieving the promise of a “net-zero” economy.
The NAM says: “Manufacturing in America is cleaner and more sustainable than ever, and the power-generation sector has been making historic strides in bringing zero-emissions sources online,” said NAM Vice President of Energy and Resources Policy Brandon Farris.
- “Even as that trend continues, this proposed regulation will prove unfeasible. With nearly 60% of our nation’s energy generated from natural gas and coal, this will either require deployment of still nascent technologies at an impractical pace or force those plants to shut down entirely.”
- “With the many threats to global energy security, that is a grave risk to our economy and to our families. The U.S. cannot afford to shut down more than half of our power generation and grind our economy to a halt. The NAM looks forward to working with the administration to ensure emissions standards protect public health while allowing manufacturers to continue pioneering technologies to make our air even cleaner and our climate even healthier.”