Business

GOP, Coal Industry Seek to Derail EPA with TRAIN Act

By: Kenric Ward | Posted: September 19, 2011 3:55 AM
Smokestacks Pollution

Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station provides power to Hillsborough County and parts of Polk, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

Congress aims to slow down the Environmental Protection Agency this week with the expected passage of the TRAIN Act.

The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act would require the EPA to analyze the cumulative impacts of major regulations, while delaying two of the most expensive rules.

"The EPA is about to enact the most expensive regulations ever imposed on power plants. And they’ll be doing this without even looking to see what the total effect will be on jobs and the economy," said Lisa Camooso Miller, a vice president at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.

While President Obama vowed earlier this month to at least temporarily shelve a pending ozone regulation, the EPA continues to pile on other edicts.

The electric industry is currently in the crosshairs of two proposed regulations that would be among the most expensive ever imposed on coal-fueled power plants, hiking electricity rates and natural-gas prices and leading to substantial job losses, according to a new analysis by National Economic Research Associates.

NERA estimates that the new rules could cost the country 180,000 jobs per year between 2013 and 2020.

By 2016, the rules could jack up Florida's electric bills by as much as 8.8 percent, the study said.

The TRAIN Act (HR-2401) would establish an 11-member federal interagency committee, headed by the Department of Commerce, to analyze the cumulative impacts of a number of major EPA regulations. A final report on the results of the analysis is due to Congress by Aug. 1, 2012.

The analysis includes, but is not limited to, impacts on: jobs, consumers and small businesses; electricity and other energy prices; the country's global economic competitiveness; and the reliability of the electric power grid.

Rob Sumner, spokesman for Progress Energy Florida, said, "In general, we believe it is vital for regulators to consider the total scope of existing and proposed rules, as well as their expected benefits, costs and implications for system reliability, rather than a piecemeal regulatory approach."

TRAIN has broad Republican support and House passage is expected. Prospects are less certain in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, has been a consistent critic of the Obama White House's regulatory philosophy.

“The barrage of costly regulations coming out of the administration demonstrates the total disconnect between Washington bureaucrats and the struggling economy the rest of Americans are facing,” Posey said.

“As long as this relentless barrage continues, Americans will have a hard time finding work."

Posey cited statistics that show federal regulations cost the average small business $7,647 per employee per year, and large employers about $5,282 per employee.

Steve Miller, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, said, “EPA’s proposed regulations would be another severe blow to many sectors of our struggling national economy.

“The analysis by NERA shows that these would be some of the most expensive EPA rules ever imposed on coal-fueled power plants -- costing more than $18 billion per year, causing double-digit electricity rate increases in many states, and leading to substantial job losses nationwide," Miller said.

Coal currently provides nearly one-half of America’s electricity supply,

Contact Kenric Ward at kward@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 802-5341.



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Groscoe
1:18PM SEP 28TH 2011
Another Government agency run amuck........The air in my life has never been cleaner......yet the EPA wants to make it sterile regardless of the cost or impact.
LDouglas
7:18PM SEP 19TH 2011
Sunshine State News, Your IT guys need to make a program that everytime a spammer leaves spam on the site, they get spammed back until their server crashes.
LDouglas
1:06PM SEP 19TH 2011
“As long as this relentless barrage continues, Americans will have a hard time finding work."

A side effect of population growth. Seems to me, when a country has to choose jobs over the health and longevity of some of it's citizen's, including the preborn, that country has too many citizens.
(Note, I don't doubt there are ridiculous regulations that need to be overhauled or thrown out, but the way some politicians (and industry reps) make it sound, we can't do any better.)

And I'm disheartened by those politicians like Mr. Posey, that think we can be world leaders in space- or in the military- but can't be leaders in an economy that doesn't profit or "create", or "save" jobs at the expense of another human being's life.

Oh, and clean coal- LOL. Cleaner than the coal plants that were grandfathered from the Clean Air Act but that's about as far as it goes. How shortsighted too to tout and invest in a finite fossil fuel that leaves scars on the landscape, fouls or destroys future sources of drinking water, leaves behind toxic ponds as well as coal ash, and will get more expensive over time.

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