Grandfathering and Environmental Comparability
Synapse analyzed the economic distortions to electricity markets by grandfathering older power plants under the Clean Air Act. The study estimated that grandfathering allowed existing coal plants to avoid paying roughly $9 billion per year in control costs that are now required of new plants. Requiring all US coal plants to meet environmental standards comparable to those that apply to new power plants would reduce SO2 and NOx emissions by roughly 75 percent, but would not result in the retirement of many existing coal units. The study also analyzed policies to make air emissions regulations comparable for new and existing plants. Report dated June 1998.