EPA tells Issa to take a hike.
Environment and Energy Daily reports:
With all signs pointing to a December release for U.S. EPA’s new limits on toxic air pollution from power plants, top-ranking Republicans in Congress are starting a last-ditch campaign to convince the Obama administration to hold off on the rule…
EPA plans to come out with a final rule by mid-December, as was agreed upon as part of a settlement with environmental and public health groups, [EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe] reaffirmed yesterday.
But Issa said the agency needs more time to review the 900,000-plus comments that were submitted, so that power companies can minimize increases in electricity rates. The rules proposed this March would be a “financial deathblow” to companies struggling to meet payroll and families on fixed incomes, he argued.
“Everyone here would like to achieve the best possible outcomes for this country,” Issa said. “We’re more likely to do that if we take a legitimate amount of time to consider the material before us.”
Perciasepe was not receptive to that argument.
At one point, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asked Perciasepe what is so “talismanic” about the planned release date of Dec. 16. Congress ordered toxic emissions limits for coal plants with the last round of amendments to the Clean Air Act in 1990.
“Twenty-one years waiting,” Perciasepe replied. “Health benefits denied.”
There is, however, no scientific or medical evidence that power plant emissions have hurt anyone or that the EPA’s rule will prevent any health harms in the future.
Toward exposing that reality, Sen. James Inhofe wrote to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson on Monday requesting information showing that the agency complied with the Data Quality Act in developing the so-called “Clean Air Mercury Rule” or “Utility MACT.”