Update: 11:57 a.m.- The joint resolution failed in the U.S. Senate with 46 votes in support of it and 53 votes against it. Sen. John Kerry, R-Mass., also voted against the resolution.
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., is in opposition to a GOP resolution coming before the Senate today disapproving of environmental rules regarding clean air standards.
Senate Joint Resolution 37 would reverse the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting the amount of pollutants, particularly mercury, that are allowed to be released into the air by coal-fired power plants and manufacturing facilities in the U.S.
“I have consistently supported the EPA’s efforts to limit the emission of harmful and toxic pollutants, like mercury,” Brown said in a statement. “The people of Massachusetts expect and deserve to breathe clean air and have vital health protections in place.”
Brown’s Democratic rival in the Massachusetts Senate race, Elizabeth Warren, also opposes the resolution according to Alethea Harney, her press secretary.
“Elizabeth supports the EPA’s efforts to promote public health by limiting toxic emissions,” Harney said. “Not only will the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards improve the well-being of Massachusetts families, the regulations will generate significant cost savings and will help create jobs for American workers.”
Introduced by U.S. Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican from Warren’s home state of Oklahoma, the resolution carries strong support from a consortium of manufacturers who say it is too expensive to adhere to the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxic Standards rule, also known as MATS, or Utility MACT, and the group warns of increased costs which will be passed on to consumers.
“Under several rules directly impacting power plants, electricity costs will increase
by more than 10 percent in some of the largest manufacturing regions of our nation,
resulting in a loss of 1.65 million jobs by 2020, according to National Economic Research
Associates,” wrote Aric Newhouse, senior vice president for policy and government relations at the National Association of Manufacturers, in a letter to senators. “In addition, there will likely be serious grid reliability issues as coal-fired power plants are taken off-line. So far, 169 coal-fired electricity-generating units in 21 states are expected to be taken off-line by 2015 due to Utility MACT and other rules.”
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This story first ran in Springfield Republican on June 20, 2012.