American Experiment, Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-08) speak out on EPA emission rules

Center of the American Experiment’s latest research raises serious concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new proposed rules regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. American Experiment’s analysis determined that these regulations would cause massive rolling blackouts in the Midwest and that preventing these blackouts would increase the cost of complying with the regulations by $246 billion through 2055. This analysis was submitted to the EPA last week as part of a formal comment period.

Energy and Environment Policy Fellow Isaac Orr was joined by Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) this week at a press conference to share their concerns about the EPA’s direction on carbon emissions.

The EPA’s own modeling suggests the proposed rules would result in the closure of reliable coal and natural plants in favor of less reliable energy resources like wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage facilities.

American Experiment modeled the impact of the proposed Section 111 rules on the reliability and affordability of the electric grid in the subregions consisting of the Midcontinent Independent Systems Operator (MISO), which includes Minnesota and most of North Dakota. Researchers criticized the lack of rigor in the EPA modeling, especially when compared to state-level Integrated Resource Plans (IRP) that often only involve one utility in a single state.

Because of this flawed methodology, American Experiment researchers believe the states served by MISO will experience inadequate generating capacity to maintain grid reliability at all hours of the year, with the largest blackout observed so massive it would mean power outages in the entire states of Minnesota and Wisconsin at the same time.  The cost to ratepayers to avert these blackouts would be $246 billion through 2055, or roughly $7.7 billion per year.

“The EPA used misleading assumptions in its analysis to justify the rules that don’t accurately reflect their impact on the reliability of the grid or their cost,” said Isaac Orr, Energy Policy Fellow at American Experiment, who together with Mitch Rolling researched and wrote the comments submitted to the EPA.

Orr also criticized the EPA for their assumptions about emissions reductions resulting from the recently passed Inflation Adjustment Act, which they claim will account for 99% of all reductions. “That’s the regulatory equivalent of studying the structural integrity of the top floor of 100-story building without doing so for the proceeding 99 floors.”

EPA will consider all of the comments submitted in the docket and work toward finalizing its regulations next year.

The full comments can be read by clicking here or read a “one-pager” summarizing the comments by clicking here.