NFIB's Danner: EPA Power Rule Could Turn Out the Lights on Small Business

Date: August 05, 2015

The
EPA this week finalized another regulation that takes dead aim at American
small business. It’s
called the Clean Power Plan, and it requires states to reduce their production
of coal energy by 30 percent in the next 15 years from 2005 levels.

The
White House, which launched a public relations campaign to increase support for
the regulation, brags that it allows the states to come up with their own mix
of alternative energy sources, like wind and solar. But all of them are more expensive and less
reliable than coal. So the states have
no real flexibility. Their only choice is
to adopt a plan that drives up electricity bills.

NFIB
strongly opposes the rule
. Higher
electric bills eat away at small business profitability because they increase
operating expenses. There’s also a very
serious risk that alternative energy sources won’t be able to meet demand. That could cause periodic power shortages and
sudden price spikes, both of which would be very damaging to businesses that
need reliable power.

There’s
an additional risk that’s especially high for Main Street businesses. Their customers are just as sensitive to
higher energy costs. If their
electricity bills go up sharply they’ll have less disposable income for
haircuts, dinners out, landscaping supplies and a thousand other local services
and products that are important but ultimately discretionary. Think of the depressed consumer demand when
gasoline was $4 per gallon. The new EPA
regulation will have the same effect except this time it will be
permanent.

The
good news is that there is bipartisan legislation working its way through
Congress that would allow states the right to opt out of the program if they
determine that it will cause substantial harm to their economies. The Ratepayer Protection Act, which we
strongly supported
, passed the House earlier this summer. A companion bill in the Senate will likely
receive action soon and we expect it to pass with strong support.

In
the meantime, the NFIB Legal Center, which two weeks ago successfully
challenged in the US Supreme Court another burdensome EPA regulation, is
currently assessing our legal options. It’s been a busy summer for NFIB due largely to the EPA, whose
aggressive global warming agenda threatens the survival of many American small
businesses.

Visit us often here at NFIB.com to keep up to date on all issues that affect small business.

Sincerely,

Dan Danner
NFIB President and CEO

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