Tags: Clean Air
In today’s Senate hearing on the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) from coal- and oil-fired power plants, Senator Inhofe (R-OK) claimed, “This rule isn’t about public health.” This claim came behind public support for the standards from the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association and Physicians for Social Responsibility. Coal- and oil-fired power plants are the largest producers of mercury pollution, and also emit dioxins, arsenic, lead, and particulates, all of which are dangerous toxins. The standards would help to prevent as many as 11,000 deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks each year, and power companies would have up to four years to comply with the new pollution standards.
Opponents of the standards, including Republican leadership in the House and big industrial polluters, have demanded a delay of the long-overdue standards despite the thousands of American lives that will be saved by the new safeguards.