Most people know that as a result of foot dragging from Kansas City politicians, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sued the city over our antebellum sewer system. As a result, our already inefficient and Byzantine water department will be increasing our rates in order to pay for the overhaul — whenever that happens.
If you like paying more for your water, wait until you learn about what the EPA wants to do to energy costs. According to the Associated Industries of Missouri, the impact of new regulations on coal “will require the reduction of emissions of toxic air pollutants from power plants in the U.S. The cost, estimated by the EPA, is expected to be $9.6 billion in 2015, and nearly that amount in 2016 and beyond.” For those of us in Kansas City, the news is especially bad [emphasis added]:
The EPA estimates rates will rise by an average of 3.1% nationally as a result of this rule alone. Because Missouri generates a major portion of its electricity from plants that will be affected by the rule, the impact to your rates are estimated to rise by 6.3% in the far western part of Missouri, 2.8% in Eastern and Central Missouri, and 3.1% in Southeast Missouri.
The city is already struggling to pay the hundreds of millions of dollars for the construction of a streetcar system that was adopted with a vote of about 300 people. Now we learn that once built, thanks to the EPA, the costs of operating it are apparently going to be about 6 percent higher.
The EPA is conducting “Clean Air Act listening sessions” across the country, and one of them is scheduled for Nov. 4 just across the border in Lenexa, Kan. In order to attend and tell them what you think, you have to register in advance (no surprise there). Proponents of the streetcar are already wringing their hands about a proposed Jackson County tax — they may want to take a good look at an EPA rule that effectively taxes their pet project and would make non-electric transit even more attractive.