Today the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a field hearing in St. Clairsville, Ohio to discuss the EPA’s agenda and its impact on coal. One of the witnesses who testified about the burdensome regulations from the U.S. EPA was Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Division of Air Pollution Control Chief Bob Hodanbosi.
In his testimony Hodanbosi illustrates the real world impact of the EPA’s Utility MACT regulation on electricity customers in Ohio. Utility MACT has forced the shutdown of coal powered plants throughout Ohio, reducing the capacity and driving up prices. Manufacturers who use one-third of our nation’s energy supply will be significantly impacted by rising prices. From Hodanbosi’s testimony:
The regional utility distribution company, PJM recently put out bids for power during the June 2015 to June 2016 timeframe. The bids for base power in the Mid-Atlantic area will be $167 per megawatt. In Northern Ohio, served by First Energy, the cost will be $357 per megawatt, more than double the Mid-Atlantic States. This significant increase in the cost of electricity bids illustrates what can happen as a result of reduced generating capacity.
Hodanbosi goes on to describe the Ohio EPA’s concern for electricity shortages as more and more plants must be taken offline due to the U.S. EPA’s regulations:
Ohio EPA remains concerned that if there are spot shortages of electricity today, the problem will be exacerbated when Ohio loses significant electrical generation capacity due to closures as a result of the U.S. EPA requirements.
Our economy is slowing down and businesses are facing challenges from all directions. Increased energy prices and EPA regulations are playing a large part in that uncertainty. Manufacturers simply cannot afford more regulations if they are to be creating jobs and powering our economy.