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Blackout Rule could dampen Christmas

December 18, 2011

By U.S. Chamber of Commerce

All Clark Griswold wanted was to add some Christmas cheer to his home. He spent days stringing thousands of lights up and down his house and jury-rigging extension cords into outlets just to brighten up the holiday. Sure, his family didn’t appreciate it, but he tried.

Rolling blackouts because of Utility MACT, A.K.A. the Blackout Rule, threaten the power grid which threaten to kill more jobs and awesome light displays.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and EPA have gone back-and-forth over the negative effects of the rule on electricity reliability. In a March 15th 2011 e-mail, FERC senior economist David Kathan sounded exasperated when he wrote,

“I don’t think there is any value in continuing to engage EPA on the issues. EPA has indicated that these are their assumptions and have made it clear that are not changed [sic] anything on reliability or gas availability in the proposed rule”.

Don’t let EPA rob all the Clark Griswolds of their special Christmas moment. Power producers need more time to comply with the rule.

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Bob Clark December 18, 2011

All one has to do is look back at the history of the years 2000-2001 and the U.S western electricity crisis to see what disaster befalls citizens when environmental regulation “goes wild” and becomes inflexible as in the case of the current day EPA. During the Western electricity crisis, the Southern California Air Quality Board (SCAQB) shut down natural gas plants during a period of record drought crippling hydro-electric generation. The plants were shut down because they had emitted more pollutants than normal, but this was only a reflection of an abnormal drop in hydro-electric generation. With spare generating capacity exhausted, California subsequently went into periods of rolling black outs. California government was slow to rein in the SCAQB to recover power generating capability. Instead,to “fix” the electricity shortage, California state government threw its state treasury monies into buying electricity; and so, instead of moderating demand the state government actually sharply increased electricity demand, causing the electricity shortage to explode much more than otherwise. Califorians ended up with many billions of dollars in longterm state debt, buying electricity for shortage caused to a large degree by over environmental regulation.

So, the EPA is going too far just as SCAQB; and even Obama in a low key (sparsely reported maneuver) is trying to delay EPA’s unreasonably restrictive rules until after the November 2012 election.

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