STUDY: Wisconsin Will Lose Over 20,000 Manufacturing Jobs Under EPA’s Clean Power Plan

Heritage study reveals more devastating consequences of EPA’s new carbon emissions rules

MacIver Institute | February 19, 2015

In yet another warning of the detrimental effects of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, The Heritage Foundation estimates that Wisconsin would lose 20,421 manufacturing jobs by 2023 if the regulations are finalized.

The Clean Power Plan forces states to adopt carbon emissions reduction plans with the goal of decreasing emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Regulations are expected to be finalized by the EPA during the summer.

“Every state would experience overwhelming negative impacts as a result of these regulations, but especially those with higher-than-average employment in manufacturing and mining,” said Nick Loris, co-author of the study and energy expert at Heritage.

The study predicts manufacturing job losses totaling 586,000 in the U.S. in just the first 7 years under the Clean Power Plan. Job loss would be particularly heavy in the Midwest because of it’s large manufacturing base and heavy reliance on coal for energy production. States like Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio,and Wisconsin stand to lose at least 20,000 jobs each.

Governor Walker, state legislators, and officials with the Public Service Commission and Department of Natural Resources all penned letters to the EPA in December expressing their displeasure with the Clean Power Plan. The letters outlined how Wisconsin’s state energy plans have already made great strides in emissions reductions, achieving a 20 percent decrease from 2005 levels so far. There are also concerns over energy reliability and cost as power plants may have to convert to different technology before they are ready to do so.

“This rule and other pending rules from the EPA will take Wisconsin backwards,” wrote Walker.

A joint study by the MacIver Institute and Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University mirrors the job loss estimates from Heritage. New EPA regulations would cost Wisconsin 21,000 jobs according to the report, and cause electricity prices to soar. Average annual residential electricity costs in Wisconsin would increase by $225, commercial electricity costs would go up by $1,530 and industrial electricity costs would increase by $105,094.

The Heritage study also reveals what the new regulations would do to the U.S. economy. The rules would result in “a loss of more than $2.5 trillion (inflation-adjusted) in aggregate gross domestic product, and a total income loss of more than $7,000 (inflation-adjusted) per person.”

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel plans to work with Walker to file a lawsuit against the federal government if the Clean Power Plan is finalized as currently planned.

“We are prepared,” explained Schimel. “If the rules go into effect much like they were announced in June, we’re going to have to protect Wisconsin jobs.”

Read the Heritage Foundation report here.