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    Regulations on power produced by coal threaten reliability of electricity


    Experts say reductions in coal power won’t affect the system overall

    Experts expect the reliability of the U.S. electric system to be maintained. A 2012 report from the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that four recently proposed or finalized regulations affecting coal-fired plants, including the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards and Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, may cause "2 to 12 percent of coal-fired capacity" to be retired, though some stakeholders pointed to lower natural gas prices as integral to that trend regardless of regulation. The report found that the rules "may contribute to reliability challenges in some regions" but "are not expected to pose widespread concerns." Furthermore, "EPA and some stakeholders GAO interviewed indicated that these actions should not affect reliability given existing tools."

    A 2011 Bipartisan Policy Center report on environmental regulations and electric system reliability also concluded that "scenarios in which electric system reliability is broadly affected are unlikely to occur" and that "impacts on the reliability of the electric system due to EPA regulations are manageable."