New Study Reveals Billions in Higher Energy Costs, Millions of Lost Jobs Under NRDC’s Carbon Regulation Proposal

Monday, March 24, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Analysis from the National Economic Research Associates (NERA) estimates that the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) proposal to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act could cost consumers billions in higher energy prices and millions of jobs. NRDC’s proposal, released in late 2012 and updated last week, has received attention as an approach EPA might follow to regulate CO2 emissions from power plants.


The NERA analysis found that NRDC’s plan could cost consumers $13 billion to $17 billion per year in higher electricity and natural gas prices. Ratepayers in most states could face double digit electricity price increases. NRDC’s updated analysis now projects no costs at all. NERA also found that NRDC’s proposal could cause job losses totaling as high as 2.85 million between 2018 and 2033. By comparison, NRDC projects that its proposal would increase jobs.


“Not surprisingly, NRDC’s preposterous proposal completely miscalculates ‘real life’ consequences, like lost jobs, soaring energy costs for families and businesses, and electric reliability issues. More shocking, NRDC’s newly updated analysis alleges that its radical plan will carry no consumer costs at all, a contention that is patently not true. If NRDC’s plan is enacted, millions of Americans will stand to lose from diminished use of affordable, reliable energy from coal, a goal NRDC fervently seeks,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE). “NERA’s new analysis confirms that groups like NRDC continue to ignore reality, encouraging policies that will force America down a troubling path of economic and energy insecurity and wreak havoc on the broader economy.”


NERA’s projections regarding natural gas also are at odds with NRDC’s analysis. NRDC projects very little change in natural gas prices, whereas NERA found prices could increase by as much as 16 percent. As a result, families and businesses could pay as much as $54 billion more for natural gas between 2018 and 2033.


The NERA analysis, sponsored by ACCCE, relies on data and information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, North American Electric Reliability Corporation, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Environmental Technology Laboratory, and MIT.