Sophia Jenson on 12 28, 2011
Utility MACT Rule Threatens Electricity Reliability,
Global Competitiveness, and Job Creation, Donohue Says
WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today after reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s Utility MACT rule released yesterday.
“We are tremendously disappointed with the administration’s decision to ignore the significant risks that will result from the implementation timeline of the Utility MACT rule. In the final rule, the administration acknowledged the need to provide utilities additional time to comply. However, without any certainty that utilities will actually be able to secure additional time in the future, the rule as currently issued could threaten America’s electricity reliability, global competitiveness, and job creation. The Utility MACT rule is unprecedented in its size and scope and could literally leave our nation’s economy in the dark.
“We wholeheartedly share this and previous administrations’ goals of protecting public health and the environment, but the rushed implementation of this rule could undermine the nation’s economic recovery. Utility companies and the independent organizations responsible for the reliability of the electric grid have expressed their grave concerns about this rule for months. Yet the final rule, like the earlier proposed rule, provides no certain additional time. The rule will require power plants to be shut down, significantly modified, or replaced, and for gas pipeline and electric transmission infrastructure to be built. Making these sweeping changes to business operations is a long-term process and it is unrealistic to think businesses can comply with this rule within three years, with an uncertain prospect for limited additional time, particularly in light of the significant regulatory burdens companies will face in siting and permitting these large projects.
“We urge the administration to reconsider the unrealistic implementation timetable for the Utility MACT rule and the effects it will have on American businesses of all sizes. Jobs, our economy, and the reliability of our electricity grid are at stake.”
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.