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on March 12, 2014

Environmental Policy Alliance: EPA regulations spike energy bills for millions of Americans

New project illustrates harmful effects of some environmental regulations

The Environmental Policy Alliance announced the launch of EPA Facts, a project devoted to educating the public about the harmful policies of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The launch features a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal and a new website that details ways in which the EPA uses agenda-driven science and opaque operations to increase the cost of energy for millions of American households.

The ad features a picture of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy with the headline, "Your Electricity Bill May Soon Skyrocket…" with McCarthy's EPA's advice on how to deal with it: "Suck it up."

The ad goes on to read, "Obama's EPA, led by McCarthy, is moving full steam ahead with oppressive energy regulations to make higher costs a reality," then prompts readers to learn more at the EPA Facts website.

"The EPA's proposed and planned regulations to regulate power plants will deal a devastating blow to the diversity of America's energy portfolio," said Anastasia Swearingen, senior research analyst for the Environmental Policy Alliance. "With its sweeping plan to effectively eliminate new coal plants, the EPA's actions could increase annual electricity costs for families in some states by over $1,000 per year."

States most likely to feel the pain are those which use coal-fired power plants. Currently, 22 states rely on coal as their largest source of energy and 48 states rely on coal to produce at least some of their electricity. If the price of electricity from coal were to increase by 80 percent - as representatives from the Department of Energy have estimated if proposed regulations go into effect - it would significantly increase household electricity bills across the U.S. The largest increases would be felt across the rustbelt and Midwest, topping out at $1,104 per year in Pennsylvania.

The EPA Facts website focuses on three ways in which the EPA's policies add millions of dollars to Americans' energy bills and pushes a green agenda that goes beyond its mandate:

  • High costs of red tape - With the power to impose rules affecting every U.S. industry, the EPA's extensive regulations cost the economy more than $350 billion per year - a full two percent of gross domestic product in 2013
  • Transparency problems - The EPA often shields its activities from public view, particularly by participating in so-called "sue and settle" legal strategies that involve foregoing the traditional rulemaking process and colluding with environmental activists behind closed doors
  • Agenda-driven science - Whether ignoring cost/benefit analyses, employing questionable rulemaking justifications, or outright bullying scientists, the EPA's "scientific method" is far from objective and sometimes deliberately skewed

Swearingen concluded, "No one is saying we should kill the environment to save an extra buck. But we shouldn't kill the middle-class to create a green utopia, either."

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