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U.S. Chamber of Commerce warns new carbon regs could damage economy

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says EPA's soon-to-be-released proposals to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants could cost over $50 billion a year between now and 2030.

A new report by the Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy estimates the potential impact that new EPA regulations - expected to be unveiled in early June - could have on job growth and electricity costs. Although no one is exactly sure what the new regs will look like, the Institute used a proposal from the Natural Resources Defense Council as the basis for its analysis, noting that "many expect [it] will be similar to EPA's anticipated proposal."

The Institute warns that between now and 2030, the potential carbon regulations would lower U.S. gross domestic product by more than $50 billion on average each year, trigger the loss of more than 220,000 jobs each year and force consumers to pay more than $289 billion extra for electricity.

"Americans deserve to have an accurate picture of the costs and benefits associated with the Administration's plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through unprecedented and aggressive EPA regulations," said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute. "Our analysis shows that Americans will pay significantly more for electricity, see slower economic growth and fewer jobs, and have less disposable income, while a slight reduction in carbon emissions will be overwhelmed by global increases."

Check out the complete report and an executive summary here.

05/30/2014