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21st Century Energy Releases Assessment of Potential EPA Regulations for CO2 Emissions

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In anticipation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s expected June 2 announcement of new rules covering CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel fired electricity generating plants under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for 21st Century Energy announced Wednesday its assessment of the impact the new potential regulations could have in the United States.

The Obama Administration has previously stated goals to reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions to 42 percent below the 2005 level by 2030. Based on this preliminary promise, and with the help of Information Handling Services (IHS) Energy and Economics, the Energy Institute conducted modeling and analysis of the impact of power-sector carbon regulations on the power industry and U.S. economy.

The study estimates an average annual increase in electricity expenditures of $17 billion throughout the United States, and $.6 billion in the PJM region alone. The PJM region includes all or part of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Tennessee and Washington, D.C. In addition, the Institute estimates an average annual economic loss of $51 billion and an average job loss of 224,000 nationwide. In the South Atlantic region alone, which includes West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, these annual average losses amount to a $10.5 billion and 59,7000 jobs.

According to the study, coal’s share of total electricity generation would decrease from 40 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in 2030, while natural gas’ share increases from 27 percent to 46 percent.

Coal production supports 21,091 jobs in West Virginia and accounts for 94 percent of the state’s energy, according to the Institute. Additionally, however, oil and natural gas production also supports 63,306 jobs in the state, and adds $5.9 billion to West Virginia’s gross state product.

To view the assessment in its entirety, visit: http://www.energyxxi.org/epa-regs