National Economic Research Associates
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National Economic Research Associates, commonly referred to as NERA, is an economic consulting firm. On its website it states that it "for half a century, NERA’s economists have been creating strategies, studies, reports, expert testimony, and policy recommendations for government authorities and the world’s leading law firms and corporations. We bring academic rigor, objectivity, and real world industry experience to bear on issues arising from competition, regulation, public policy, strategy, finance, and litigation."
2011 Report: EPA Regulations to cost $18 billion
In June 2011, a coal industry front group, American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) released a report stating that clean-air rules proposed by the Obama administration would cost utilities $17.8 billion annually and raise electricity rates 11.5 percent on average in 2016.
ACCCE paid for National Economic Research Associates Inc. to conduct the report, which a Bloomberg report described "as part of a campaign to delay compliance deadlines in the pending rules." The report estimated that regulations cutting emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides would lead to the “premature” retirements of coal-fired power plants that can generate 47.8 gigawatts of electricity, about 15 percent of coal’s U.S. production capacity.
Representative Ed Whitfield, a Kentucky Republican and chairman of the energy subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said he plans to introduce a bill to give utilities more time to comply with the rules. New maximum levels for nitrogen oxides, a component of smog, and sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, are scheduled to take effect in 2012. The US Environmental Protection Agency is under a court order to produce a final mercury rule in November 2011. Utilities would have as long as four years to meet the mercury standard.
2012 report: Mercury rules would cost billions
NERA's 2012 report, "An Economic Impact Analysis of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards Rule," concluded that the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) Rule would cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars and eliminate 180,000-215,000 jobs.
Articles and resources
- NERA, "About NERA", NERA website, accessed June 2011.
- American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, "New Analysis Finds EPA’s Power Plant Regulations Would Increase Electricity Costs; Lose Jobs", Media Release, June 8, 2011.
- National Economic Research Associates, "Proposed CATR + MACT", American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, June 2011.
- Jim Snyder, "EPA Air Rules to Cost Almost $18 Billion a Year, Coal Industry Group Says" Bloomberg, June 7, 2011.