Flawed Resources for the Future Report Ignores Clear, Irreparable Impacts of the Clean Power Plan on Coal
Resources for the Future’s report contains many advocacy positions but no real economic analysis. Any report that would claim “the Clean Power Plan will result in near-zero costs” to the coal industry—as does this report— defies common sense and simply must be dismissed for nothing more than a propaganda piece devoid of any factual value.
EPA’s own modeling forecasts that the CPP with force the retirement of 56 coal-fired power plants from 2016–2018, with all but three retiring in 2016. Given these projections, beginning immediately through 2018, an estimated six coal mines will close, three more will significantly curtail production and 1,856 coal miners will lose their jobs.
Economic studies are clear: the CPP will have an immediate, significant and irreparable impact on the coal industry. “ Evaluation of the Immediate Impact of the Clean Power Plan Rule on the Coal Industry,” an economic report that supported the successful request for stay granted Feb. 9 by the U.S. Supreme Court, describes the facts. The electric power industry requires long lead times to plan, permit and construct power plants and the associated infrastructure, and therefore requires near immediate action to plan for compliance. To comply with the CPP, utilities must commit immediately to coal plant retirements. Once committed, the decision to retire and replace existing coal-fired power plants will be irrevocable. With plant closures come mine closures, directly impacting jobs and the value of investments, while also incurring massive mine closing costs, to say nothing of downstream costs to the economy and plant and mining communities.
Coal is an invaluable “resource for the future” that the U.S. will no longer have if the CPP is implemented. The costs of the CPP to the U.S. economy, to Americans and to the coal industry are real, undeniable and immediate.