Trump’s EPA flunkies scrap limits on mercury from coal plants

The US Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that concludes it is not ‘appropriate and necessary’ to regulate mercury pollution from coal fired power plants. The agency will no longer consider public health benefits associated with reducing mercury emissions.

The 16 April decision repeals the legal basis underlying the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that former president Barack Obama enacted in 2011. This legislation required coal and oil-fired power plants across the country to cut emissions of mercury and other heavy metal air pollutants. The Obama administration calculated that MATS would prevent roughly 11,000 premature deaths, 4700 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks in the US each year.

The Environmental Working Group’s president, Ken Cook, called the rule ‘beyond stupid’, and former EPA director Gina McCarthy, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, dubbed the rule ‘an absolute abomination’. In contrast, groups such as the National Mining Association applauded the agency’s move, arguing that MATS represents a ‘destructive and illegal assault on the coal industry’…

Are there any conservatives remaining in the Republican Party who consider the well-being of the working people of America – much less our whole species – more important than the almighty dollar?

2 thoughts on “Trump’s EPA flunkies scrap limits on mercury from coal plants

  1. Grim reaper says:

    “Hundreds of telecommuting employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are in open revolt. Agency head Andrew R. Wheeler this week drew their ire for what they say is a deadly and racist order to return to federal buildings despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
    They refused Monday to be bullied back into a much higher risk of contracting COVID-19 just to buttress the president’s foolish behavior. And they noted that such dangerous directives appear aimed only at the EPA, an agency whose mission Trump loathes.
    Those voting included scientists, public health professionals and other people with enough education and sound judgment to recognize that Wheeler’s order to work in an unsafe environment is worse than foolhardy, it’s inhumane and potentially lethal.
    Trump originally tapped Wheeler — a former coal industry lobbyist and climate change denier — for EPA leadership back in 2017, before ultimately succeeding in installing him as permanent administrator in February 2019.
    Senate Democrats’ top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) watchdog is warning that the agency plans to withhold funds to clean contaminated land and drinking water sources in Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington, D.C., citing a directive from President Trump to withhold federal funds from “anarchist” jurisdictions. (10/6/20)

  2. Epilogue says:

    “As we stumble through the twilight of the Trump era, let us devote a moment to an actual issue. Let us briefly visit Donald Trump’s vow to save the coal industry— notable because it figured prominently in his successful 2016 campaign. His “Trump Digs Coal” sign at a rally showcasing miners in hard hats signaled to blue-collar voters that he was on their side.
    Did he Make Anthracite Great Again? He did not. Trump leaves office with the coal industry in collapse. Over his four years, America saw a 24 percent drop in average quarterly coal mining jobs. In 2019 alone, more than eight coal companies filed for bankruptcy, including the industry giant Murray Energy.
    Yet in 2018, Trump held an event in Charleston, West Virginia, where he declared: “We are back. The coal industry is back.” And so was his chorus line of miners, this time holding signs that read, “Promises Made. Promises Kept.” (1/19/21)

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