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An affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Federal Regulatory Overload

Foundation lawyers diligently monitor, assess, and provide comments on federal regulatory initiatives. The Foundation is committed to fighting encroachments on liberty so that free enterprise may thrive and the public prosper.

EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck

The Environmental Protection Agency will develop and finalize multiple rules over the next several years that will dramatically impact the air, water, and energy regulatory climate. This unprecedented level of activity will be mirrored at the state level since each federal regulation will trigger the promulgation of state rules to implement the standards. Studies have shown these rules will have an impact on the overall economy, jobs, competitiveness, and energy costs.

Key Topics

Energy and Climate



Other Regulations

Key Rules

Carbon Regulation for Power Plants



Transport Rule

Water Cooling

Water Effluent Limits

Boiler MACT

Utility MACT/Mercury


Coal Combustion Residuals


Additional Resources

The EPA Train Wreck, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Power Point Presentation.

The law firm Arnold & Porter maintains a comprehensive chart that displays US climate change litigation, covering pending as well as decided cases.

“Red Tape Rising: Regulations in Obama’s First Term,” Heritage Foundation, May 2, 2013.

“A Critical Review of the Benefits and Costs of EPA Regulations on the U.S. Economy,” prepared for Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) by NDP Consulting, November 2012.

“Economic Implications of Recent and Anticipated EPA Regulations Affecting the Electricity Sector,” prepared for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) by National Economic Research Associates (NERA), October 2012.

“Potential Coal Plant Retirements: 2012 Update,” The Brattle Group, October 2012.

“The Social Cost of Carbon in U.S. Regulatory Impact Analyses,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, by Laurie Johnson of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Chris Hope of the United Kingdom’s University of Cambridge Judge Business School, September 2012.

“Regulation and the International Competiveness of the U.S. Economy,” Mercatus Center at George Mason University, by Steven Globerman, the Kaiser Professor of International Business at Western Washington University, and George Georgopoulos, an associate professor at the Department of Economics at York University, summarizes and assess evidence relating government regulation in the United States to the international competitiveness of the U.S. economy. September 2012.

Macroeconomic Impacts of Federal Regulation of the Manufacturing Sector, NERA Economic Consulting, August 21, 2012.

EPA Regulations and Electricity: Better Monitoring by Agencies Could Strengthen Efforts to Address Potential Challenges, Government Accountability Office, July 2012.

Resource Adequacy Implications of Forthcoming EPA Regulations, Department of Energy, December 2011. Predicts 29 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired generating capacity will retire by 2015 – but that all regions of the country would still be left with sufficient extra capacity (“reserve margin”) to meet anticipated demand.

Long-Term Reliability Assessment, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), November 2011. Concludes that between 32.6 GW and 53.6 GW of capacity will retire by 2018 as a result of the EPA’s regulations, causing available capacity to fall below target reserve margins in Texas and New England.

The Combined Effect of the Obama EPA Rules, Economic Policy Institute, September 16, 2011.  Estimating that current and proposed EPA regulations under the Obama Administration will produce more benefits than costs. The report found the combined compliance cost of the rules amounts to only about 0.1 percent of the economy, and thus are not a significant factor in the overall economy’s direction.

Potential Impacts of EPA Air, Coal Combustion Residuals, and Cooling Water Regulations, NERA Economic Consulting, September 2011.

EPA’s Regulation of Coal-Fired Power: Is a “Train Wreck” Coming?, Congressional Research Service, August 2011. Concluded that until the regulations are finalized and implemented, it is difficult to determine with specificity how the rules will impact cost and reliability on a national basis.

Transport Rule & Utility MACT Increase Electricity Costs, National Economic Research Associates (NERA), May 2011.

EPA’s Regulatory Train Wreck: Strategies for State Legislators, ALEC, 2011.

EPA regs may shut 70,000 MW of U.S. coal plants: FBR, Scott DiSavino, Reuters, December 13, 2010.

Stop the Train Wreck, ALEC.