Ten percent of our power just like that and some states are already suffering from black outs and brown outs. Is this the change you voted for in 2008?
Institute for Energy Research:
More than 34 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity are now set to retire because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (colloquially called Utility MACT) and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) regulations. Most of these retirements will come from coal-fired power plants, shuttering over 10 percent of the U.S.’s coal-fired generating capacity.
This report is an update of a report we issued in October 2011. Last October the original report, we calculated that 28.3 GW of generating capacity would close as a result of EPA’s regulations. At the time, we warned that “this number will grow as plant operators continue to release their EPA compliance plans.” Unfortunately, this statement has proven to be true. This update, a mere eight months later, shows that 34.7 GW of electrical generating capacity will close—a 6.4 GW increase.
According to EPA, their modeling of Utility MACT and CSAPR indicates that these regulations will only shutter 9.5 GW of electricity generation capacity. But events in the real world already show that EPA’s modeling is a gross underestimate.
To calculate the impact of EPA’s rules, we first assumed that EPA’s modeling of the regulation correctly predicted which power plants would close as a result of the regulations. Then, we looked at statements, filings, and announcements from electrical generators where the generators were closing power plants and in which they cited EPA’s regulations as the precipitating cause of the plant closures. We then compared EPA’s modeling outputs with the announcements and created a master list of plant closures as the result of EPA regulations (the master list is below).
Combining actual announcements with EPA’s modeling shows that EPA’s modeling grossly underestimates the actual number of closures. As noted above, EPA calculated that only 9.5 GW of electrical generating capacity would close as a result of its rules. But the reality is that over 35 GW of power generating capacity will likely close—over three times the amount predicted by EPA modeling. Worse, as utilities continue to assess how to comply with EPA’s finalized Utility MACT rule and CSAPR, there will likely be further plant closure announcements in the coming weeks and months.