A new study released by the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University confirms once again the importance of affordable and reliable electricity and natural gas to manufacturers.  Manufacturers use a third of our nation’s energy supply and this study shows the relationship between higher energy prices and economic growth. 

The SMU study analyzed the combined impact of EPA’s proposed standards for utility generation units (the Utility MACT) and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) and concludes that the regulations could place as many as a million jobs at risk in America’s manufacturing sector.

As the SMU study reports, “[t]here can be little doubt that the suite of rules contemplated by EPA—imposed as they are on U.S. manufacturing interests and not on their foreign competitors—are likely to have profound adverse consequences for energy-intensive manufacturing.”

In addition to echoing the concerns voiced by the SMU study, NAM once again calls on the EPA and the Administration to stop these precipitous regulatory actions until an appropriate analysis examining the cumulative impact of EPA’s proposals on our nation’s economy and energy sector can be completed and considered.    

It is an incontrovertible fact that our Nation’s manufacturing sectors—specifically those sectors such as iron, steel, aluminum, etc. that are energy intensive—depend upon affordable and reliable electricity. For example, there is a company in the mid-west that reports for every 1 cent increase per kilo watt hour (kwh) their company will pay an addition $1 million a year in electricity costs.

As these regulations force power plants to close it will have a dramatic impact on supplies, grid reliability and costs. Increases in consumer electricity rates and impacts on reliability from increased EPA regulations risk will place greater burdens on domestic manufacturers already struggling to compete in the current economy.

Chip Yost is vice president for energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.