New EPA Regulations Would Hit Wisconsin Jobs Hardest

MacIver News Service | March 7, 2014

by Haley Sinklair

[Washington, D.C.] New research from the Heritage Foundation shows that proposed EPA regulations, set to take hold January 2015, would hit Wisconsin’s manufacturing jobs the hardest.

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If the new regulations go into effect, Wisconsin would stand to lose 11,702 manufacturing jobs. The state’s congressional districts would lose 1,463 jobs on average by 2023, the largest average in the nation. The sixth congressional district would lose an estimated 2,000 jobs.

The EPA regulations will limit the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for future power plants and will later create new regulations for existing plants.

Newly constructed power plants run by coal will have a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour, a significant cut to the average plant that emits nearly 1,800 CO2 per megawatt hour.

New standards for existing power plants are expected to be released by June of this year.

Manufacturing will be hit particularly hard for several reasons.

  1. As coal production is reduced, they must find a way to make up for lost supply.
  2. Fuel switching to natural gas to make up for lost coal will increase the gas prices 28 percent by 2030.
  3. These regulations will force new plants to install carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology to turn coal into gas, creating a huge cost burden on the industry.

The study analyzed economic effects of phasing out of coal between 2015 and 2038.

“Using the Heritage Foundation Energy Model, a derivative of the federal government’s National Energy Model System, we found that by the end of 2023, nearly 600,000 jobs will be lost, a family of four’s income will drop by $1,200 per year, and aggregate gross domestic product decreases by $2.23 trillion,” the report reads.

Here is a breakdown of the total jobs that would be lost in each state:

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Forty percent of America’s electricity consumption is provided by coal. By limiting an affordable energy source, electricity prices would increase for America’s families and hit the poorest families hardest.

Higher energy prices could also mean Americans will be further hit as businesses pass their higher costs onto consumers by raising prices of goods and services.

To counteract the implementation of these regulations the U.S. House passed the Electricity Security and Affordability Act, H.R. 3826 on Thursday. However, the White House said in an announcement Wednesday that it would veto the bill.