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Jan. 1 will bring many new energy regulations

Chris Woodward   (OneNewsNow.com) Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Concern remains over impending regulations on the energy sector.

A slew of regulations are looming ahead of January 1, 2013. Conservative and libertarian groups and lawmakers have been warning that the Obama administration was holding back many of the regulations until after the election, due to concern that they might adversely affect his chances of winning re-election.

Emily Wismer, a policy analyst for the Washington, DC-based Independent Women's Forum specializing in energy, regulation and the economy, shares which things concern her the most.

Wismer, Emily (IWF)"There are a group of greenhouse gas regulations that are being implemented that are going to have pretty serious effects, as well as some regulations on coal," she explains.

"The coal regulations are expected to cost the economy about $700 billion. Coal makes up roughly 40 percent of the electricity generated in the United States, and that number is on the drop because of the regulations."

Coal companies have warned that they will close plants as a result of these and other regulations. Fewer plants will mean less supply, resulting in higher electricity prices; it will also mean fewer jobs.

Furthermore, while it is not a regulation, the issue of a carbon tax also remains a concern.

"A carbon tax is a tax on 85 percent of the energy that we use," Wismer says. "And right now we have a trade deficit and we're trying to spur manufacturing growth, and American families are really struggling to make ends meet."

Some conservatives and Republicans are behind the idea of a carbon tax, saying it could be a revenue neutral tax that does away with other taxes. However, others among those groups dispute that assertion.

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