The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is continuing its efforts to roll back regulations against mercury and toxin emissions against the objections of the US power industry, reports the Washington Post
(17 February, Eilperin, Dennis). Exelon, one of the nation’s largest utilities, directly appealed to the EPA to stop its regulatory rollback, characterizing the effort as "an action that is entirely unnecessary, unreasonable, and universally opposed by the power generation sector." Kathy Robertson, a senior manager for environmental policy at Exelon, said the industry has complied with the regulations for a long time, and companies have observed positive benefits of compliance. Exelon is not alone in voicing objections to the regulatory rollback. Unions, business groups, and electric utilities have all told the EPA it should back away from the plans, but coal executives have lobbied for the rollback. The EPA reportedly plans to announce that it is not "appropriate and necessary" for the government to limit harmful pollutants from power plants. While the mercury regulations will still technically remain in place, the government will not be able to count collateral benefits, like reducing soot and smog, when it calculates limits for toxic air pollutants. Experts have joined the power industry in objecting to the planned rollback. Professor Michael Greenstone, an energy and environmental economist, said the rollback could lead to a slippery slope. Calling the rollback "an incredibly sharp sword," Greenstone predicted that "there’s no reason that sword can’t be used to roll back other regulations that have produced extraordinarily large benefits for American society."
From "US EPA About to Weaken Emissions Rule Despite Opposition from Power Industry"
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