ON-Lion Letter

"Harsh Midwest winters have a tendency to make Wisconsinite's electricity bills jump quite a bit, but that is not the only thing that will increase our bills if the Environmental Protection Agency gets its way," begins a February op-ed  by Brett Healy in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

"Recently proposed rules by the EPA -- expected to be finalized this summer -- would sharply limit carbon emissions at coal-fired power plants across the country over the next 15 years," according to Healy.  "Wisconsin would be hit especially hard because coal-fired plants generate 62% of the state's electricity."

Healy is president of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy in Madison, Wis.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports the MacIver Institute.

"The rules would limit the supply of power from these plants by forcing them to adopt expensive and unproven technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, or shut down completely," Healy continues.

"The cost of compliance with these rules for Wisconsin is estimated at nearly $1 billion a year by 2030," he writes.

"According to a new report from the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University and the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy," Healy adds, "the EPA's proposed carbon emission rules under the Clean Air Act would raise Wisconsin electricity prices by 19% over the next decade and a half.

"That is an average annual increase of $225 for the typical residential ratepayer by 2030.  Commercial ratepayers would see an average increase of $1,530.  But each is a fraction of the cost of what our state's manufacturers would pay.

"Because of a heavy reliance on electricity to power large machinery, the average industrial ratepayer would see an increase of $105,094 a year by 2030.  A major cost hike such as that would be unsustainable for many of Wisconsin's manufacturers."

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