The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has undertaken the most expansive regulatory assault in history on the production and distribution of affordable and reliable energy.
Numerous regulations, all proposed within a short time frame, have created regulatory chaos and uncertainty, stagnating investment as the economy attempts to recover from recession. These regulations are causing the shutdown of power plants across the nation, forcing electricity generation off of coal, destroying jobs, raising energy costs, and decreasing reliability.
Despite the doomsday rhetoric coming from the EPA and environmental groups, environmental quality in the United States continues to improve. Mercury, carbon monoxide, ozone, lead, nitrogen oxide, particulates, and sulfur dioxide have all decreased in both ambient concentrations in the atmosphere and in total emissions.
Affordable and reliable energy has directly led to a high standard of living by allowing Americans to devote more resources to health-promoting activities such as diet, health care, and exercise rather than heating, cooling, and transportation costs.
Unnecessary and burdensome environmental regulations do have negative health impacts that result from income being diverted away from health-promoting expenditures toward energy costs. These impacts are far worse for lower-income populations, because energy makes up a larger proportion of their budget.