Manufacturers use one third of our nations energy supply making access to affordable sources of energy essential for manufacturers to be able to stay competitiveness in the growing global market. Another one of the overreaching regulations to come out of the EPA which will cost jobs and directly impact manufactures is the Utility MACT rule.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page yesterday outlines the impact this rule will have and makes the case that President Obama should stop the EPA from moving forward with this burdensome regulation:

“Most important, the EPA’s regulatory cascade is a clear and present danger to the reliability and stability of the U.S. power system and grid. The spree affects plants that provide 40% of U.S. base load capacity in the U.S., and almost half of U.S. net generation. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, which is charged with ensuring the integrity of the power supply, reported this month in a letter to the Senate that 81 gigawatts of generating capacity is “very likely” or “likely” to be subtracted by 2018 amid coal plant retirements and downgrades.”

That’s about 8% of all U.S. generating capacity. 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.”

The WSJ even cites the low cost estimate and the impact Utility MACT will have on investment at a time with high unemployment:

“The EPA’s own lowball cost estimate for the mercury rule is $11 billion annually, though the capital expenditures to meet the increasingly strict burden will be far higher. That investment could be put to more productive uses than mothballing coal assets and replacing them with more expensive sources like natural gas. With nearly a tenth of America out of work, $11 billion year after year adds up.”

Utility MACT is another example of the EPAs aggressive overreach added to the list of regulations such the new proposed ozone standard, Boiler MACT and Coal Ash. Manufacturers have asked President Obama numerous times to stop the EPA from overreaching and destroying jobs.  At some point these rules are no longer EPAs rules but they are the Presidents rules. With so much uncertainty facing our economy manufacturers simply cannot afford additional costly regulations which will dampen their ability to create jobs. 

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