The NMA said it was “another step in the administration's policies designed to eliminate low cost and reliable electricity and replace it with more expensive and less reliable sources”. It added that families, businesses and communities would be put at risk by ever-increasing electricity bills.
“Why should a household or state be punished because the EPA is determined to remove affordable, abundant and reliable American coal from our energy mix?” the NMA said.
NMA CEO Hal Quinn called the rule a “stunning attempt to remake the nation's entire electric grid at great cost to households and businesses across the US”.
“Our manufacturing base will become less competitive because of higher electricity prices,” he said.
“The impact of this regulation will be felt by families as they will spend more to heat and cool their homes. Those on fixed incomes and seniors will be forced to pay a disproportionately higher share of their monthly budget on utilities.”
The NMA said low-income families and households were vulnerable to higher and more volatile energy costs, especially considering over half of American households already devote more than 20% of their family budget to energy costs – more than double that of 10 years ago.
“Policies that increase the price of electricity will break those already on tight budgets. Seniors should not have to choose between buying groceries or heating or cooling their homes,” the NMA said.
The EPA’s recent MATS (mercury and air toxics standards) rule for power plants has already resulted in the announced closure of 77 coal-based power plants which could generate enough power for 15 million homes, the NMA said.
It is understood 209 coal-based power plants would permanently close due to this rule.
“Economy-wide, the rule is forecast to result in 835,000 jobs lost by 2020. Communities will lose jobs and tax revenue needed to support local government services, schools and hospitals,” the NMA said.
The NMA also noted that US manufacturing used about a third of energy produced in the US – and these EPA regulations “threaten manufacturers' global competiveness on millions of manufacturing facilities, farms, energy providers and other stationary sources, impacting every aspect of our economy”