American air quality is high, yet unreasonable new standards could cost billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
The United States has improved air quality even as population and energy use have increased. And yet, regulators are still proposing unnecessary emissions restrictions on power plants that offer little health benefits but could greatly impact the price consumers pay for electricity.
Two sets of mandates, Ground-Level Ozone Standards and Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards (“Utility MACT”), place harsh restrictions on other emissions from power plants. Utilities and consumers have pushed back to keep their businesses running and electric bills reasonable.
Ground-Level Ozone Standards
A current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposal aims to lower the national air quality standard for ground-level ozone – again. Read more about Ground-Level Ozone Standards.
In April 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new set of regulations requiring power plants to reduce emissions of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) within three years. These regulations are commonly referred to as the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology Standards (“Utility MACT”) or the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (“MATS”) rule – and they're bad news to those of us trying to keep electricity reliable and affordable. Read more about Utility MACT.
The Utility MACT rules could cost the U.S. up to $84 billion dollars but may provide as little as $500,000 in benefits.