December 31, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must delay implementing rules on interstate air pollution on Jan. 1, a federal court ruled, siding with electric power producers seeking to defeat the new regulations.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Appeals Court in Washingto today granted a request by electric power producers and other challengers to delay the deadline for plants in 27 states to begin reducing emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide while the court considers the rule’s legality.
“Petitioners have satisfied the standards required for a stay pending court review,” Judges Brett Kavanaugh, Thomas Griffith and Janice Rogers Brown said in the brief ruling.
More than three dozen lawsuits in the Washington court seek to derail the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which was issued in July and revised in October. The court hasn’t scheduled a date for argument, though today’s order suggested the judges would hear the case by April.
December 26, 2011
Imaginary world view, very real consequences for Americans … This time it’s the EPA’s imaginary view of mercury pollution. Did you know for instance, US forest fires annually emit as much mercury as all US coal-burning electrical power plants. Mercury and other “pollutants” are also released by geysers, volcanoes and subsea vents, which tap directly into subsurface rock formations containing these substances.
But in the EPA’s view … This all may be true in the virtual reality of EPA computer models, linear extrapolations, cherry-picked health studies and statistics, government press releases and agency-generated public comments. However, in the real world inhabited by families, employers and other energy users, the new rules will bring few benefits, but will impose extensive costs that the agency chose to minimize or ignore in its analysis.
Emissions of mercury and other air toxics from power plants have been declining steadily for decades, as older generating units have been replaced with more efficient, less polluting systems or retrofitted with better pollution control technologies. While a few older plants still violate EPA’s draconian proposed rules – the new rules are not based on credible scientific and epidemiological studies.
As independent natural scientist Dr. Willie Soon and CFACT policy advisor Paul Driessen pointed out in their WallStreetJournal and Investor’sBusinessDaily articles, and in Dr. Soon’s 85-page critique of EPA’s draft rules, US power plants account for only 0.5% of the mercury in US air. Thus, even if EPA’s new rules eventually do eliminate 90% of mercury from power plant emission streams, that’s still only 90% of 0.5% – ie, almost zero benefit. The rest of the mercury in US air comes from natural and foreign sources, such as forest fires, Chinese power plants and the cremation of human remains (from tooth fillings that contain mercury and silver).
90% of 0.5% … yes you read that right. This is the level of policy stupidity that the EPA aspiration takes it.