The federal government’s efforts to control coal-based electricity consumption and the implementation of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) rule – a product of an international agreement made 20 years ago – is poised to hit consumers hard in coming years, Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta said today.

Last week PJM Interconnection, a regional transmission organization (RTO) regulated only by the Federal Energy Rregulatory Commission (FERC) held its 2015 power contract auction.

“The market price for new 2015 PJM Interconnection coal-based electricity sold was $136 per megawatt – more than eight times the 2012 price of just $16 per megawatt,” Skrmetta said. “In New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., the new price is $167 per megawatt. For Ohio the price is a vicious slap to consumers of $357 per megawatt. The use of federal regulatory control to artificially inflate the price of coal-generated electricity will soon reach a point where consumers cannot afford traditional electricity and the federal government plans that this will drive increasing numbers of consumers to unreliable ‘green’ energy.”

Skrmetta said the artificially-induced price increases will cause a non-Louisiana residential consumer’s monthly bill of $200 in the PMJ Interconnection territory to rise, at minimum, to about $1,700 per month.  In Ohio, the increase could reach up to $4,400 per month, or 22 times the current rates.

“It’s not only a destructive energy policy that’s injurious to residential consumers, but can lead to further out-migration of jobs as goods and services employers will seek to avoid oppressive U.S. regulations,” Skrmetta said.  “These federal rules are only created to satisfy a political agenda of the radical environmental left to eliminate manmade carbon dioxide.”

At a recent presentation by a professor from MIT to the Federal Energy Bar Association, it was revealed that the EPA’s goal is to eliminate the use of coal in the United States by the year 2035. Even more of a problem for Louisiana and the nation is the goal of the EPA is to eliminate the use of natural gas in the united states by the year 2065.

“Oddly enough, the federal plan is to allow for the export of these ‘fossil’ fuel resources to other nations for use in their economic development,” Skrmetta said. “According to this flawed logic, exhaust gases only rise into a particular countries atmosphere and do not permeate the globe. That is garbage science and patently not true. All of these oblique federal actions come on the tail of news of massive worldwide new natural gas discoveries that seem to show that the United States will have sufficient supplies of natural gas for hundreds of years with free market prices stable for years to come.”

Skrmetta said the origin of the Utility MACT rule lies with the other rules affecting energy use in this nation (Cap and Trade, CSAPR, etc.) emerging from the United Nations Rio Accord of 1992 via the document now known as Agenda 21, which includes the goal of forcing the reduction of consumption of natural energy resources in the United States by increasing prices, while stimulating the application of those resources in the developing world.

Skrmetta said the simple proof of this international effort is found in United Nations Document Agenda 21, Section I, Chapter 4, “Changing Consumption Patterns,” which states, in part:

“4.24. Without the stimulus of prices and market signals that make clear to producers and consumers the environmental costs of the consumption of energy, materials and natural resources and the generation of wastes, significant changes in consumption and production patterns seem unlikely to occur in the near future.

4.25. Some progress has begun in the use of appropriate economic instruments to influence consumer behaviour. These instruments include environmental charges and taxes, deposit/refund systems, etc. This process should be encouraged in the light of country-specific conditions.”

“The EPA is using artificial market regulatory mechanisms to make energy so costly that consumers will have no choice but to rely on unreliable green energy,” Skrmetta said. “The brutal coercion of the federal government in manipulating free markets and its ultimate effect on consumers is horribly wrong and is damaging to free markets and the long-term economic stability of our nation.  I am publicly asking Louisiana’s federal delegation to join with other concerned States and open a Congressional investigation into the arbitrary actions of the bureaucracy of the federal government in causing these rules to be forced on citizens, seemingly to achieve a political agenda that will have little effect other than to diminish the economic stability of the United States.”

Consumers can also contact him at 1-800-228-9368.