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Obama's 'clean power': It costs too much

| Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015, 9:00 p.m.

The Obama administration's claim that the EPA's “Clean Power Plan” will “reduce energy bills for households and businesses” long has defied common sense. After all, it forces the replacement of coal-fired power plants with more expensive electricity sources. Now, a new study quantifies those cost differences, confirming the administration's duplicity.

Thomas Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research, which did the study. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, he says it's “the first of its kind to compare the cost of electricity from existing sources with that of new sources.”

Using federal data reported by electricity generators, the study found one megawatt-hour of electricity from existing nuclear plants costs an average of $29.60. Comparable figures for existing hydro-, coal- and natural-gas-powered plants are $34.20, $38.40 and $48.90, respectively.

But for new natural gas plants, it's $73.40, and for new wind turbines, $106.80 — with the dramatic cost differences due largely to capital costs and the requirement for natural gas-fired plants to “be ramped up and down rapidly” as winds blow and calm.

Mr. Pyle urges states, which are supposed to submit compliance plans or see the feds impose their own, to “think twice about working with the EPA.” As he puts it, building new power plants to comply “would impose expensive and unnecessary costs — and the public would foot the bill,” with low-income households hit hardest.

Ah, another “progressive” pig in a poke.

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