New report confirms, again, that new EPA regulations won't hurt power system reliability
There’s been a lot of hubbub lately about new and emerging EPA regulations. Lots of folks in pollution-intensive industries would like you to believe that those regulations will crush the economy, leave grandma shivering in the dark, and smack that ice cream cone right out of little Jimmy’s hands.
For a particularly crude example of that kind of agitprop, check out this borderline hysterical (in both senses) post from Steve Everley at Newt Gingrich’s shill shop American Solutions: “Study: EPA Rules Will Shut Off Power to Millions of Homes.” Aaaaaaaaah! Run, little Jimmy, run!
(Suffice to say, the study in question, which I wrote about the other day, says nothing of the sort.)
Anyway, a while back I wrote about a report from M.J. Bradley & Associates that examined the issue closely and concluded that the power industry can comply with the new regulations without adversely affecting system reliability. Little Jimmy’s going to be fine.
Now another analysis has been released, examining the same set of issues and coming to the roughly same conclusion. It’s from consulting firm Charles River Associates and goes by the snappy title, “A Reliability Assessment of EPA’s Proposed Transport Rule and Forthcoming Utility MACT.” (Can you feel the excitement?)
Like I said, the conclusions are in line with the MJ Bradley analysis, so I won’t get into the nuts and bolts. Check my previous post for details on the many trends and tools that point in the direction of Don’t Panic. Among them are: tons of new generating capacity is already in the pipeline, the struggling economy has slowed demand growth, there’s lots of cheap natural gas around these days, there are tons of underutilized demand-management tools, and all sorts of regulatory safeguards are already in place.
Here’s the high-level conclusion:
… modeling an aggressive policy implementation of EPA’s proposed and forthcoming air regulations, we demonstrate, consistent with other industry reports, that with prompt action and industry coordination, electric system reliability can be maintained.
Got it? No jack-booted EPA thugs are going to “shut off power” to your home. Your toaster will turn on every morning, just like always. The economy will continue growing, as it has in the face of previous regulations. Industry will flush its previous fear-mongering down the memory hole and pivot to fear-mongering the next set of regulations, in keeping with its fine traditions.
Meanwhile, the air and water will get cleaner. It’s all good.
More stories in this series:
A broad look at the power industry — where the power plants are, what they burn, and which ones pollute.
Yesterday I published a brief overview of the U.S. power sector. Aging coal plants are responsible for the vast bulk of the its pollution — greenhouse gases, SOX and NOX, particulates (smog), mercury, combustion ash, you name it. The power …
EPA is working furiously on clean-air rules, and coal-dominated utilities are terrified. Some of the oldest, dirtiest coal plants will be shut down.
There are a number of things brewing at the EPA that are making coal utility executives nervous.
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