Thursday, February 26, 2015
Terry Jarrett, a former Commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission and former Chairman of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' (NARUC) Committee on Critical Infrastructure, has sounded the alarm regarding a plan by the EPA to reduce carbon dioxide emissions due to coal-burning electricity plants:
Under new regulations from the EPA, many of these plants would be effectively forced out of operation. And to date, no one is saying how that power will be otherwise produced. Wind, solar, and natural gas have all been suggested, but none is capable of providing reliable and affordable electricity like coal can. While some states are able to rely on alternative sources such as wind and hydropower [sic], that simply isn't an option for much of the country.These rules, as violations of property rights, would be just as wrong even if there were sufficient power generation capacity to replace the plants. Furthermore, such rules would still cause power rates to skyrocket -- as even proponents admit -- already reducing our standard of living.
The importance of coal in generating electricity was demonstrated very clearly last winter when coal-fired plants worked overtime to heat homes and businesses during a deep freeze. In fact, American Electric Power, a major utility company, reported that 90 percent of its coal plants slated for retirement under pending EPA rules were running at full speed just to meet peak demand. [bold added]