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November 17, 2014

MSCI Comments On EPA Power Plant Rule – And Now You Should Too!

As part of the Partnership for a Better Energy Future (PBEF) coalition, MSCI this week sent comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) opposing the agency’s proposed rule governing emissions for existing power plants. The letter argued the draft regulation “is incompatible with numerous practical and technical aspects of America’s electricity system and would represent a vast expansion of the agency’s regulatory reach into the authority held by states and other federal regulatory agencies.” 

The comments also pointed out the rule would:    

  • Raise energy prices and cost jobs. The EPA estimates the rule will cause nationwide electricity price increases averaging between six and seven percent in 2020 and estimates that annual compliance costs will fall somewhere between $5.4 and $7.4 billion by 2020, and up to $8.8 billion in 2030. These estimates reflect power sector compliance costs only – they do not represent the rule’s broader effect on economic activity in the U.S.
  • Dramatically increase electrical grid stress and reliability challenges.
  • Not reduce global emissions. Indeed, if the Administration adopts policies that substantially increase the cost of energy – thereby decreasing the competitiveness of U.S. industries – investments and emissions will be sent to other, less efficient countries. As a result, overly restrictive and costly U.S. policies to reduce emissions will not only be offset by the rapidly increasing emissions from other countries, but could actually result in a net increase in global emissions.

MSCI continues to ask its member companies to write to the EPA to oppose this rule. As a reminder, a poll of Iowa voters commissioned by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future found a majority of those surveyed believe the United States cannot afford new costs and potential job losses resulting from the EPA regulations and that nearly half of those polled say they are not willing to pay a single dollar more in their energy bill to accommodate the new EPA regulations. 

MSCI members have until mid-December to write to the EPA to oppose this rule. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy’s website has a draft letter MSCI members can use – simply sign and submit the form letter on the website or personalize it by telling the EPA what your company would have to cut in order to pay for the increased energy prices. Would you have to cut employment? Benefits? Investment? 

Please also contact MSCI Vice President of Finance and Government Affairs Jonathan Kalkwarf for a copy of the PBEF letter so you can use it as an example for what to send to the EPA.