Senate votes in favor of clean air protections
June 20th, 2012
01:40 PM ET

Senate votes in favor of clean air protections

Senate Joint Resolution 37, the Senate bill that would overturn the Environmental Protection Agency's controversial Mercury and Air Toxics Standards or MATS, was voted down Wednesday by a margin of 46 to 53.

Introduced by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) in February, the resolution was a challenge to the country's first national protections rule designed to limit the amount of heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, chromium, nickel and other toxic air pollutants released by power plants that burn coal and oil - toxins many suspect cause cancer and other health problems.

But Inhofe said the bill was specifically designed to kill the coal industry and the good paying jobs it provides. He led the charge to repeal the protections and vowed to keep fighting what he called the Obama administration's "damaging regulatory regime."
"Our momentum continues to build, as a growing chorus is rising up against the Obama-EPA's radical green agenda," Inhofe said. "Whether it's EPA regulations hurting farmers, a 'crucify them' philosophy against American energy producers, or an admission from EPA officials that their rules, designed to kill coal will be 'painful every step of the way,' this much is clear: EPA is earning a reputation for abuse. During the course of this debate, we exposed the economic pain of EPA's rules, gaining the strong bipartisan support of business groups and labor unions, of Democrats and Republicans from states that will feel the heavy hand of the federal government as it puts them out of business."

But John Walke, clean air director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, was encouraged by Wednesday's vote.

“Today's bipartisan Senate vote is a victory for health, clean air and common sense,” said Walke. “Despite fear mongering by the coal industry, some utilities and their allies, the Senate has rejected an irresponsible effort to repeal mercury and air toxics protections that are backed by science and required by law. The House Republican Leadership should take note and cease its efforts to undermine the Clean Air Act - efforts the public does not support.”

According to the EPA, power plants are the biggest source of toxic releases into the air, including 50% of mercury emissions and 77% of acid gas emissions. When that mercury reaches water it changes into a highly toxic form of methylmercury. This builds up in fish, and those eating that contaminated fish are exposed. The agency says exposure to methylmercury is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, unborn babies and young children.

Existing plants will have four years to comply with MATS. The EPA estimates about 1,400 units will be affected - 1,100 coal-fired units and 300 oil fired units at approximately 600 power plants. They say many of these plants already meet some part of the standards.

In the House, a vote on a bill that would rewrite smog standards is expected this week.

soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. LrbsEncox

    discounts on levitra http://uslevitraanna.com/ www levitra com

    May 1, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. LhdvZisse

    viagra and cialis https://asciled.com/ viagra cialis

    May 1, 2021 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. FbsfEncox

    online discount pharmacy http://uspharmus.com/ Malegra FXT

    May 1, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. FbsfEncox

    cvs online pharmacy https://uspharmus.com/ antibiotics

    May 2, 2021 at 04:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. LhdvZisse

    dapoxetine and cialis [url=https://asciled.com/ ]viagra vs cialis forum[/url] generic cialis online

    May 2, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. GvdbCrulk

    trial tadalafil tablets https://boxtadafil.com/ tadalafil mechanism of action in bph

    May 2, 2021 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. RfvbZisse

    generic cialis express delivery http://cileve.com/ cialis online shopping

    May 3, 2021 at 04:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. GtnbCrulk

    legal viagra https://jokviagra.com/ – red viagra pills women viagra pill

    May 3, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. AnooEncox

    viagra narkotyk https://llviagra.com/ viagra ohne rezept paypal zahlung

    May 3, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LebnEncox

    Cardura Cefadroxil Allopurinol

    May 4, 2021 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. FmrfEncox

    cialis with dapoxetine http://cialisee.com/ generic cialis buy

    May 5, 2021 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. FmrfEncox

    can i take cialis with daxpoteine https://cialisee.com/ cialis 40mg

    May 5, 2021 at 05:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. LbsoZisse

    cialis no prescription overnight https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis and paypal

    May 5, 2021 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. GtnbCrulk

    what happens when a woman takes viagra https://jokviagra.com/ – how to get viagra sample viagra for women

    May 6, 2021 at 00:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LbsoZisse

    generic cialis https://ucialisdas.com/ cialis price comparison no prescription

    May 6, 2021 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. BbshMile

    how much is viagra per pill http://loxviagra.com/ what happens when women take viagra

    May 7, 2021 at 04:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. RebfZisse

    google south africa cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis cheap

    May 7, 2021 at 05:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. AnooEncox

    tiagra vs viagra https://llviagra.com/ chinese viagra herbal side effects

    May 7, 2021 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RebfZisse

    overnight delivery cialis https://rcialisgl.com/ cheap cialis online overnight shipping

    May 7, 2021 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. LebnEncox

    Fluoxetine http://xlnpharmacy.com/ buying drugs canada

    May 7, 2021 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. JebgEncox

    drugs from canada with prescription https://pharmacylo.com/ buy drugs online

    May 8, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. JebgEncox

    northern pharmacy http://pharmacylo.com/ Doxazosin

    May 8, 2021 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. BbshMile

    get viagra online http://loxviagra.com/ does insurance cover viagra

    May 9, 2021 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. AnooEncox

    viagra sklep apteka https://llviagra.com/ viagra side effects low blood pressure

    May 10, 2021 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. FmrfEncox

    cialis without prescription http://cialisee.com/ buy cialis online overnight

    May 12, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. FmrfEncox

    buy cialis online in usa http://cialisee.com/ buy cialis from canadian pharmacy

    May 12, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. LebnEncox

    cheap canadian drugs https://xlnpharmacy.com/ specialty pharmacy

    May 12, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. LbsoZisse

    cialis black http://ucialisdas.com/ viagra / cialis

    May 12, 2021 at 21:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. storno brzinol

    whoah this weblog is magnificent i really like studying your posts. Keep up the good work! You already know, lots of persons are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly.


    May 13, 2021 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply to BrfgMile


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.