Washington, D.C., June 21, 2012 — A measure seeking to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standard was defeated by a vote of 46-53.
The resolution, introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), was met with the threat of a veto, according to a statement from the White House. Critics of the Utility MATS rule, including Inhofe, most Republicans and representatives from coal-producing states, said the regulations will damage the coal industry, raise the cost of energy for consumers and eliminate energy jobs.
According to the EPA, the regulations would save lives and improve quality of life for millions of Americans. Requiring coal plants to retrofit with pollution control measures would also provide construction jobs for thousands of people.
MATS requires power plants of a certain generation capacity to use maximum achievable technology to reach compliance with standards for mercury and hazardous air pollutants by 2015.
The rule will also curtail a number of hazardous air pollutants, including lead, arsenic, hydrogen chloride, hydrogen fluoride and dioxins/furans.