U.S. Sen. David Vitter, a member of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today urged his colleagues to support legislation to disapprove of a new Environmental Protection Agency regulation called Utility MACT. The resolution failed 46 to 53.
"Increasing the everyday cost of electricity for Louisiana families is not something we should even remotely consider right now, let alone have to vote on in the Senate," Vitter said. "This regulation handed down by the EPA could result in major increases in energy costs that will lead to job loss and higher utility bills."
In December 2011, the EPA made a rule called Utility MACT to regulate the amount of mercury emissions and "air toxins' from coal-fueled power plants. The legislation getting voted on today is a disapproval of the EPA's rule, which some estimates indicate could cost electricity prices to spike by 11.5 percent nationwide in 2016, and potentially leading to further job losses across the economy.
Testimony in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearings on the rule found that the current Clean Air Act is broad enough to enable the EPA to issue mercury-only rule and avoid the massive cost increases.