National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn believes the utility standard advocated by the EPA could impose unnecessarily high costs on the American economy in lost jobs and in more expensive and less reliable electricity generation.

“It is vitally important that EPA adopt a standard that allows our country’s coal-based generation fleet–the 1,400 units that provide almost half of U.S. electricity–to be retrofitted economically or replaced with the coal-based advanced technology at a pace that avoids threats to jobs, household budgets and the reliability of electric power. Unfortunately, our preliminary analysis suggests these aims will not be met by the rule outlined by EPA,” Quinn said.

“U.S. coal-based plants will have spent an estimated $125 billion to comply with clean air requirements by 2015, with most of this investment going to retrofits of existing plants. U.S. coal-based power plants have already reduced mercury emissions by 40%–the most of any country–with additional reductions to come using advanced clean coal technologies,” Quinn said. “With this rule, coming on top of additional rules now pending at the agency, EPA could negate the positive contributions the coal-based utility sector has made to cleaner air and affordable and dependable electricity generation. The result would be higher utility bills for households and businesses, substantial job losses and a significant weakening of the nation’s electricity reliability.”