“YES” on Disapproval of EPA’s Utility MACT Rule

This week, the Senate could vote on S.J.Res.37, a joint resolution disapproving a rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to emission standards for certain steam generating units. The disapproval resolution, offered by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) as allowed by the Congressional Review Act, would halt the EPA’s Utility MACT rule, which would shut down coal-fired power plants across the country.

Fully implemented, the Utility MACT rule would cause American consumers to endure a 24% spike in their electricity prices as coal-fired power plants will be forced to shutter. Although estimates vary, hundreds of thousands of jobs are likely to be destroyed in the process.  These costs do not outweigh the legislation’s intended goal of reducing mercury emissions, which is  miniscule in comparison.

Heritage’s David Kreutzer explains that Utility MACT is about more than mercury, though:

The EPA’s analysis of the new mercury rule (the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or Utility MACT) is yet another example of regulatory bait-and-switch. The rule refers to mercury but really targets CO2, and it generates its purported benefits from reducing particulates that are already covered by other regulations.

[E]ven the EPA’s own cost-benefit calculations reveal that this is not a mercury rule in any meaningful sense—less than one-tenth of one percent of the estimated benefits come from mercury abatement.

The Utility MACT rule is another example of dangerous executive overreach that must be stopped.

Heritage Action supports S.J.Res.37 and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard.

Related Links:
Heritage Action’s Scorecard
EPA’s New Mercury Rule? Environmental Hocus Pocus
Pulling the Plug on Obama’s Energy Scheme
EPA to Raise Electricity Prices, Risk Blackouts