The Obama administration and the U.S. EPA continued their assault on coal and coal-fired power plants this past week with proposed new rules announced Tuesday that will result in utilities, and their ratepayers to pay an addition $2.8 billion a year in added annual costs by 2014 by the EPA’s own estimation.

The emissions plan is most recent in a string of regulations and legislation that the Obama Administration and the EPA have passed that hampers the use of coal for power generation in this country. Currently coal accounts for almost half of the nation’s electrical generation.

Utilities immediately raised concerns about their ability to meet the new standards by the 2012 deadline, especially if they have to install new technology to meet the standards. The EPA estimates about 180 coal-fired power plants will have to install new technology. Some facilities could wind up being shut down. The agency expects the new rules will increase electricity prices by about two percent annually, estimates industry experts question as potentially low.

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