Report: Power plant mercury rule won’t cause power outages

“[A]lthough the rule may lead to the retirement or derating of some facilities, almost all of the capacity reductions will occur in areas that have substantial reserve margins,” the report stated.

The report also noted that EPA will give plant operators up to four years to comply with the regulations, which were announced in December.

In addition, the agency has said it will consider allowing a fifth compliance year on a case-by-case basis if power reliability issues arise on a localized level. EPA has said “there will be few, if any situations, in which this pathway will be needed.”

Republican and industry opponents have long argued that the regulations will cause so many plant closures that the reliability of the power grid could be compromised.

The Obama administration, in the run-up to the release of the final regulations, aggressively pushed back on those claims. The Energy Department released a report in December that said the rules will not cause the lights to go out.