Impact of EPA’s Regulatory Assault on Power Plants
More than 34 gigawatts (GW) of electrical generating capacity are now set to retire because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Rule (colloquially called Utility MACT) and the Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) regulations. Most of these retirements will come from coal-fired power plants, shuttering over 10 percent of the U.S.’s coal-fired generating capacity.
This report is an update of a report we issued in October 2011. Last October the original report, we calculated that 28.3 GW of generating capacity would close as a result of EPA’s regulations. At the time, we warned that “this number will grow as plant operators continue to release their EPA compliance plans.” Unfortunately, this statement has proven to be true. This update, a mere eight months later, shows that 34.7 GW of electrical generating capacity will close—a 6.4 GW increase.
According to EPA, their modeling of Utility MACT and CSAPR indicates that these regulations will only shutter 9.5 GW of electricity generation capacity. But events in the real world already show that EPA’s modeling is a gross underestimate.