Coal Tattoo

There’s a significant story out today from The Hill’s Energy and Environment Blog, reporting:

Utility industry claims that looming Environmental Protection Agency rules for power plants will create an economic “train wreck” are overblown, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) says in a new report.

Because EPA has yet to propose or finalize many of its clean air regulations, industry-sponsored studies predicting economic calamity “effectively underestimate the complexities of the regulatory process and overstate the near-term impact of many of the regulatory actions,” CRS says in an Aug. 8 report that has been circulating on Capitol Hill in recent days.

The CRS report concludes:

Frequently overlooked in analyses of EPA regulations are the benefits to public health and the environment that will occur, benefits that for the most part are difficult to monetize. EPA does estimate benefits of individual rules, while acknowledging that it is challenging to quantify benefits due to data limitations and uncertainties in approaches used to value benefits. The costs of the rules may be large, but, in most cases, the benefits are larger, especially estimated public health benefits. Neither the EEI nor the NERC report addresses benefits.

The Washington Post also has a piece on this CRS report, and we’ll have one in tomorrow’s Saturday Gazette-Mail.