What will EPA’s proposed carbon standards cost? That — still — depends on who you ask

From: E&E Publishing

Nathanael Massey, E&E reporter

When U.S. EPA released its draft rule for power plant greenhouse gas emissions earlier this month, it also handed the public a receipt — in the form of a regulatory impact assessment (RIA) — detailing the plan’s expected costs and benefits.

Long before the RIA was ever issued, however, interested parties were already haggling over the bill.

In the weeks and months preceding EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), a handful of institutes, environmental groups and industry associations released separate and sometimes dueling reports on the expected costs of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. The most widely cited of these — an estimate by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued in March, and another by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released some weeks later — painted highly divergent pictures of how the CPP’s costs may play out with the NRDC’s estimate predicting widespread societal benefit and the chamber’s foreseeing a steadily accumulating economic burden.

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