PA GOP Statement In Response To Bob Casey’s Continued War on Coal

HARRISBURG, PA – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding Senator Bob Casey’s vote against S.J. Res. 27, a resolution of disapproval on Utility MACT (Environmental Protection Agency’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule):

“It’s alarming that Bob Casey has officially joined Obama’s war on coal by voting with the President instead of the people of Pennsylvania.  Coal is a critical industry that creates thousands Pennsylvania jobs, but the Obama-Casey team continue to support EPA regulations that can have economically devastating effects. Casey can’t run from his clear and continued support of President Obama’s disastrous economic agenda and hostility toward job creation. Voting with President Obama 98% of the time has put politics first and Pennsylvania last.  Casey’s vote today is just another reason why Pennsylvanians will be much better served by new Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Smith.”

The Utility MACT rule is causing many power plants around the country to close and eliminates new coal-fired power plant construction.   For Pennsylvanians, especially those in coal-mining communities or where EPA regulations threaten the shutdown of a coal-fired power plant, the economic impacts will be devastating.  Manufacturers and their employees throughout our state will be at risk from the higher costs of electricity.  In fact, in Pennsylvania  alone, Utility MACT and other EPA rules have been projected to increase electricity costs by up to 10% and risks thousands of jobs in our state.  The poor and elderly living on fixed incomes will be hit the hardest by the price increases.

Tom Smith, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, released the following statement: “I applaud Sen. Inhofe and his colleagues who supported the measure. Unfortunately for Pennsylvania and America as a whole that group did not include Sen. Bob Casey.  As the owner of several coal mining companies, I was on the receiving end of President Obama and Senator Casey’s costly, job-killing regulations. I saw firsthand the damage that an out-of-control government can do to an American economy struggling to create jobs.  The President’s EPA has clearly declared a war on coal – an industry crucial to our economy and Sen. Casey has done nothing to support the energy industry and the Pennsylvania jobs it creates.”

Even Casey’s fellow Democrat, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has said, “[The] announcement of yet another onerous rule by the EPA completely ignores the devastating impact these regulations will have on jobs and our economy, not only in West Virginia but across this nation.  The Utility MACT Rule, combined with the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule that was finalized earlier this year, are two of the most expensive regulations ever to be imposed, and every American should be concerned about their effect on energy prices, the reliability of our power supply, our coal mining industry and most importantly our families.”

Gleason concluded, “Senator Manchin isn’t headed to the convention because of Obama’s war on coal. Will Senator Casey join him?”

 

BACKGROUND:

Utility MACT: ‘Killing Jobs’

The Controversial EPA Regulation Would Create ‘A Ripple Effect Through The American Economy’

One of the Most Expensive Rules in EPA History. EPA estimates that the final rule will cost $9.6 billion per year. Previous estimates had the rule at $10.94 billion per year. (EPA, Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Final Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, 12/2012 & EPA, Regulatory Impact Analysis of the Proposed Toxics Rule, 3/2011)

32 Power Plants Will Shut Down. An Associated Press analysis has found that more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states will be forced to close because of the new, more stringent regulations. Another 36 plants [in 16 states] are at risk of closing. (Associated Press, “Power Plant Closures to Cost U.S. Town Jobs, Taxes” 12/20/11)

Costs Outweigh the Benefits. Total monetized benefits estimated $500,000 to $6 million per year (less than 0.01% of the Rule’s total costs). (National Economic Research Associates, EGU MACT Rule’s Benefit-Cost Case and EPA’s Reliance on Co-Benefits, 12/8/11)

  • • “Keep in mind that the EPA estimates that the benefits to society from the mercury reductions in the utility rule max out at $6.1 million, total, while imposing $11 billion in compliance costs annually. That is a crazy tradeoff even if it didn’t endanger the electric grid. (Wall Street Journal, “If the Lights Go Out” 12/6/11)

Shut Down 8% of U.S. Power. Merely losing 56 gigawatts—a midrange scenario in line with FERC and industry estimates—is the equivalent of wiping out all power generation for Florida and Mississippi. In practice, this will mean blackouts and rolling brownours, as well as spiking rates for consumers. (Wall Street Journal, An EPA Moratorium, 8/29/11)

  • • North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has stated this rule could lead to 12 GW of capacity reductions and disproportionately impact the PJM assessment area (Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Virginia) (NERC, Potential Impacts of Future Environmental Regulations, 12/11)

Bipartisan Opposition. Senators Manchin (D-WV) and Coats (R-IN) have introduced legislation to rein in Utility MACT. Other Democratic cosponsors include Senators Nelson (D-Neb.) and Landrieu (D-La.) (Sen. Dan Coats, Manchin-Coats “Fair Compliance Act” Gains Support from Senators Thune, Moran, 12/19/11).

    • o Cross State Air Pollution Rule CRA. The last CRA to rein in a costly EPA regulation failed with only 2 Democrats supporting. (Vote 201, S.J.Res. 27, 56-41, 11/10/11)

Cumulative Impact of 183,000 Jobs Lost Annually. National Economic Research Associates found that the proposed Utility MACT rule and other pending EPA regulations would destroy an average of 183,000 jobs every year from 2012-2020. (NERA, Potential Impacts of EPA Air, Coal Combustion Residuals, and Cooling Water Regulations, 9/2011)

 

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