‘Dirty 30′ want EPA air pollution rule repealed
Lines are being drawn on Capitol Hill over an EPA rule to reduce air pollution from the nation’s power plants.
Last year the Environmental Protection Agency approved the controversial Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (or MATS; also known as MACT), the country’s first national protections rule designed to limit the amount of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and other toxic air pollutants released by power plants that burn coal and oil – toxins many suspect cause cancer and other health problems.
The new standards set work practices that include an annual performance test program for new and existing electric generating units. This would include an inspection, adjustments, maintenance and repairs.
“Utility MACT is specifically designed to kill coal as well as all the good paying jobs that come with it,” Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “The vote on my resolution will likely be the one and only opportunity to stop President Obama’s war on coal – this is the one chance for my colleagues to show their constituents who they really stand with.”
And Inhofe says 29 others have joined his petition to repeal those protections. The number is significant because Inhofe’s Senate Joint Resolution 37 could nullify the EPA rule under a little used law called the Congressional Review Act. With a CRA, a vote in committee is not required if 30 senators have signed on to support it.
The legislation can be discharged from committee and sent straight to the Senate floor for a vote. But that’s not all. If passed, under CRA, the EPA would be prohibited from adopting substantially similar clean air standards in the future.