(Albuquerque, NM) – The Rio Grande Foundation, using data produced by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University (BHI) has analyzed the Obama Administration Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed “Clean Air Regulations” and found that if consumers are concerned with the electricity rate hikes being proposed by Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM), they will face an even greater impact under the new federal regulations.
The new report is available here. Among the report’s findings:
• Before factoring in PNM’s proposed 12 percent rate hike, New Mexico’s electricity prices are relatively high compared to other states. In part this is due to aggressive renewable portfolio standards;
• The EPA has introduced three new emission rules that will either force coal-fired generation plants to close or adopt expensive and unproven technologies such as carbon capture and storage;
• These rules will cost the New Mexico economy $185 million between implementation and 2030, according to data provided by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University;
• The rules’ effects on reducing the supply of inexpensive electricity production will increase electricity prices by 18%, cost 5,170 jobs, and reduce real disposable income by $578 million, according to the report.
According to Rio Grande Foundation president Paul Gessing, all of this economic harm amounts to “all pain and no gain” since EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, in September 2013 testimony before a House committee, conceded that the agency’s climate-change regulatory regime would not affect the climate because the preponderance of current and future greenhouse-gas emissions originate in Asia.
“Of course,” argued Gessing, “The pain of dramatically-increased electricity costs will further hinder New Mexico’s already anemic economy while having real-world impacts on the thousands of hard-working taxpayers who are destined to lose their jobs under this misguided proposal.”
With PNM already looking for a 12 percent rate hike and many of New Mexico’s utilities looking to increase their “renewable” portfolios from 15 to 20 percent by 2020 to comply with New Mexico’s “renewable portfolio standard,” the price of electricity in the Land of Enchantment has already risen dramatically in recent years and is likely to rise dramatically in the years ahead.