Study: States can handle EPA power plant rules

An independent analysis of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to limit carbon dioxide pollution from power plants concluded that states are “well positioned” to handle the federal government’s requirements under the rules.

The Analysis Group said Monday that there will be costs associated with compliance, but “such costs will be much lower than the benefits to public health and to the overall economy from lower CO2 and other air emissions.” 

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If states design programs effectively, near-term electricity rate increases will be modest, and electric bills will fall in the long run, the group said.

“Several states have already put a price on carbon dioxide pollution, and their economies are doing fine,” Susan Tierney, an adviser at the group who worked on the report, said in a statement. “The bottom line: the economy can handle — and actually benefit from — these rules.”

The Analysis Group, a consulting firm, made its conclusions based on states that have already made efforts to reduction carbon pollution. The Energy Foundation and the Merck Family Fund — two groups that advocate for energy efficiency — provided funding for the research, but the Analysis Group said its report was independent.

The EPA has devoted much of the last month and a half to promoting the proposal, aiming for a smooth rollout while shoring up support for it. The agency predicted that electricity prices would increase due to the rule, but energy efficiency measures would result in net decreases in power bills.

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