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The Effects of Obama’s Energy Regulations;My GOD Magnum

August 21, 2011

Good grief, as if things aren’t already bad enough, President Obama’s environmental regulations are going to start going into effect, and we’re all going to start feeling the pinch. The Farmer’s Almanac’s preliminary forecast for the 2011-2012 winter predicts harsh and blustery cold weather in the northeast, so we could already expect to pay higher than average utility bills to keep our homes warm. The EPA’s rules aren’t going to help. In all fairness, he did tell us once that his energy policies would make energy prices skyrocket and put coal plants out of business. He wasn’t kidding.

JSOnline reported the bad news:

On Thursday, Wisconsin Power & Light Co. of Madison said it would face an additional $9 million in costs linked to the air pollution rule. With the change, the utility is now seeking an increase in 2012 of $20 million, or 2%, utility finance manager Martin Seitz said in a filing with state regulators.

Todd Stuart, executive director of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group, criticized the increases, and he noted that large energy users like paper mills will see higher than average increases, compared with homeowners and small businesses. Paper mills served by WPS could see a 9% hike, he said.

“The EPA’s new rules have directly resulted in a major new cost for struggling homeowners and manufacturers,” Stuart said in a statement. “Members of Congress should be taking a very hard look at the significant compliance costs of EPA’s new mandates.”

But that’s not all. In Texas they expect rolling blackouts will ensue once the new rules take effect, as the Star Telegram reported.

The head of the Texas Public Utility Commission expressed concern Friday that a new federal air quality rule, set to take effect Jan. 1, will cause disruptions in electric service.

If implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule is not delayed, “I have no doubt in my mind that this rule will result in reliability issues and rolling outages in Texas,” Donna Nelson said at the start of the commission’s meeting.

The rule, issued in early July by the Environmental Protection Agency, would require substantial reductions in emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide at power plants in 27 states.

The EPA says the rule will save and prolong lives by reducing harmful smog and soot pollution. Gina McCarthy, an EPA assistant administrator, said in a previous statement that power plants in the state “will be able to cut their pollution without jeopardizing reliable electricity service for Texans.”

But Dallas-based power generator Luminant says it doesn’t have enough time to comply and has asked that the EPA delay implementation.

The company says the industry’s standard time frame for installing emission controls is several years, but the rule requires compliance in six months. So Luminant, a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings, has said it may have to shut down some coal-fired power plants in East Texas. …

Well, I hope we don’t have rolling blackouts here in the Northeast in January and February. All of the damage caused by frozen pipes may be good for Mr. LC’s business, but we’d prefer a booming economy. Raising the cost of energy isn’t going to bring that about.

ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, calls these EPA rules a Regulatory Train Wreck. I know if our utility bill increases by 10%, that’s money we won’t be able to spend on things like clothes for our kids, dinners out or a family getaway – you know, the kind of activities that help the economy. But then again, we all know the progressives don’t really care about the economy. It seems all they care about is making people miserable in every way imaginable.

Update: Of course, the tax-payer funded Congressional Resource Service says there won’t be any train wreck caused by these regulations. They say the “public health benefits” will outweigh any damage to the economy. I’ll take that report with a grain of salt.

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