EPA Defends The Mercury Rule

on December 27, 2011 at 6:00 AM

Amid accusations that its rule requiring coal-fired power plants without existing control equipment for mercury and other specific air toxins could shut down needed energy generation and tax the US economy, the EPA is using high-technology tools like sharable Youtube videos to defend itself.

This short video is unusually clear for a topic that has dragged on through immense complexity over the last twenty years, and spends no time justifying itself on contested science or disputed compliance schedules. The Agency sticks to its contention that current power plant emissions harm child health, and addresses the economic issues by pointing out that if utilities invest in emissions equipment, that technology can be built and installed using American workers and creating business for companies in the US.

EPA calls the technology it will require for power plants “widely available,” but does not offer an estimate of the cost of control equipment. Estimates range wildly, but the additions are expensive, and the details left out of this video are likely to be the subject of further grinding conflict in the federal court system.

For more about the rule itself, as well as industry reaction, read Breaking Energy’s detailed story on the release of the Utility MACT rule.