Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Two Electricity CEOs Defend EPA Air Rules & Blast WSJ

Days away from EPA announcing its final air toxic rule, the attacks on it continue.  But importantly attacks are not coming from all quarters of the business community or electricity industry.

The Chief Executives of Calpine and PSE&G strongly defended the EPA's air rules and took to the woodshed the consistently error-filled and ideologically-driven editorials of the Wall Street Journal. See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203501304577084573119094642.html.

It is good to see both of these corporate leaders raising their voice to rebut particularly the charge that the EPA proposed air rules would create systemic grid reliability issues, a flimsy, factually challenged assertion. 

The Wall Street Journal editorial position presents itself as pro-market and anti-regulation.  Refusing to internalize major external costs in pricing is not pro-market and only another form of subsidization for favored companies.

Stripping away the ideological cover and pretension, the Wall Street Journal position boils down to supporting continued operation of 40-plus-year old coal plants without pollution controls by continuing their subsidy and opposing the interests of gas plants, nuclear units, renewable energy facilities, and modern coal plants--all of which comply with the EPA rules.

The EPA apparently will announce the final air toxic rule either on friday, December 16th or monday, December 19th. Hopefully it will not make major changes to the proposed rule and keep to the rule's schedule.

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