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IER Identifies Coal Fired Power Plants Likely to Close as Result of EPA Regulations

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them…”

– Barack Obama speaking to San Francisco Chronicle, January 2008

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Will EPA‘s regulations shut down power plants in your state?

The United States has the world’s largest coal resources. In fact we have 50 percent more coal than Russia, the country with the next largest reserves. But coal use in the United States is under assault.

Before becoming President, Barak Obama promised to bankrupt coal companies. As President, he has tried various strategies to force Americans to use less coal. After failing to pass a national energy tax (cap-and-trade), the President vowed to continue his attack on coal stating, there is “more than one way to skin a cat.”

Currently, EPA is leading the Obama administration’s assault on coal with a number of new regulations. Two of the most important are the “transport rule” and the “toxics rule” (Utility MACT). Combined, these regulations will systematically reduce access to affordable and reliable energy. According to our report:

EPA modeling and power-plant operator announcements show that EPA regulations will close at least 28 gigawatts (GW) of American generating capacity, the equivalent of closing every power plant in the state of North Carolina or Indiana. Also, 28 GW is 8.9 percent of our total coal generating capacity.

  • Current Retirements Almost Twice As High As EPA Predicted

EPA’s power plant-level modeling projected that Agency regulations would close 14.5 GW of generating capacity.  That number rises to 28 GW when including additional announced retirements related to EPA rules, almost twice the amount EPA projected.  Moreover, this number will grow as plant operators continue to release their EPA compliance plans.

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