U.S. House Republicans are again attacking new environmental regulations that limit the amount of mercury and other pollution power plants can emit. The new rules were the subject of a House subcommittee meeting today. The hearing, led by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield, essentially can be summarized like this: Republicans question all of the data released by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the cost of the regulations and their effect on the economy. Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air, Gina McCarthy told the committee that coal-fired power plants will still be able to operate under the rules:
“The only thing we’re doing in this rule in particular is using available cost-effective controls to minimize harmful emissions of toxic chemicals that are impacting American families.”
The EPA estimates the rule will cost $9.6 billion to implement in its first year, 2016. But McCarthy says it will generate anywhere from 37 to 90 billion dollars a year in benefits, and cause a net increase in jobs.