Merry Christmas America, Now Give Us Your Money – Love, EPA.

Saturday, December 24, 2011
By Paul Martin

James Taylor

If you found it difficult this year to save enough money to purchase Christmas gifts for your loved ones, just wait until 2012. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency yesterday announced new mercury restrictions on coal power plants that will impose anywhere from $10 billion (EPA’s estimate) to $200 billion (third-party estimates) in new costs on energy production. On a per household basis, that imposes anywhere from $100 to $2,000 in additional energy costs on the average U.S. household each and every year.

Although the new restrictions do not take effect until 2015, energy providers will have to take immediate action to meet the deadline. U.S. electricity prices have already increased by nearly 50 percent during the past decade, and EPA’s new restrictions will merely accelerate that trend. Start taking still more money out of next year’s Christmas envelope and transfer it over to the monthly electricity envelope.

Despite the high costs, perhaps the new restrictions would make sense if the United States faced a severe and worsening environmental mercury problem. Exactly the opposite is the case.

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