- Press Releases
- NMA Disappointed in D.C. Circuit Ruling; Puts U.S. Energy Future at Risk While Raising Energy Bills for Families and Businesses
April 15, 2014
National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn released the following statement regarding the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling issued today in White Stallion Energy Center v. EPA that denies challenges to the Environmental Protection Agency’s mercury and air toxic standards for power plants:
“It is very unfortunate that the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld EPA’s power plant rule that imposes enormous costs upon households and businesses but provides little additional environmental benefit. The court recognized the EPA has the authority to consider costs but upheld EPA’s decision to ignore them.
“The rule in question provides little in the way of additional mercury emission reductions. With more than $100 billion dollars of investments by utilities, power plants have already reduced mercury emissions by half since 2005—two years before EPA’s rule takes effect. EPA’s forecasted benefits from the rule are speculative and rely upon double-counting emission reductions that were already occurring under other regulations.
“The costs of EPA’s rules are significant and substantial. While EPA believed the rule would only cost the nation 10,000 MW of the nation’s electricity capacity, already more than 40,000 MW of electricity capacity have been scheduled for closure because of these rules. The Department of Energy forecasts that capacity retirements will reach 60,000 MW—enough electricity to power almost 30 million homes.
“As we saw during this long winter, and especially during the polar vortex, our grid reliability is at risk. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur commented about the threat to grid reliability, stating that during those weeks, ‘electric reliability was strained’ and on some days ‘close to the edge.’ One result is that many Americans right now are dealing with soaring electric utility bills sustained during the winter months.
“More broadly, the retirement of coal power plants – due to the volume and extent of EPA rules – is making our electricity supply less diverse, less reliable and more expensive.
We will continue to review all of the legal options available to industry.”