EPA recently proposed or finalized four regulations affecting coal-fueled electricity generating units . . . (1) the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule; (2) the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; (3) the proposed Cooling Water Intake Structures regulation; and (4) the proposed Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals regulation . . . EPA estimated two of the regulations would prevent thousands of premature deaths and generate $160-$405 billion in annual benefits. [however] [s]ome stakeholders have expressed concerns that these regulations could increase electricity prices and compromise reliability—the ability to meet consumers' demand . . . [Here] GAO was asked to examine: (1) actions power companies may take in response to these regulations; (2) their potential electricity market and reliability implications; and (3) the extent to which these implications can be mitigated.Ultimately the GAO recommend that the EPA, DOE and FERC "take additional steps" to monitor industry's compliance; EPA & DOE agreed while FERC disagreed.
Additional Resources:Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, EPA (last visited Aug. 17, 2012).
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, EPA (last visited Aug. 17, 2012).
Cooling Water Intake Structures - CWA §316(b), EPA (last visited Aug. 17, 2012) (scroll down to link for the Federal Register Notice).
Coal Combustion Residuals - Proposed Rule, EPA (last visited Aug. 17, 2012) (scroll down to link for the Federal Register Notice).