EPA Coal Regulation | VideoJennifer Joas | 6/21/2012
The EPA is imposing stringent regulations on coal powered plants. Plants will be required to reduce mercury and toxic chemical emissions from 29 tons per year to six tons a year. Republicans in the Senate introduced a bill trying to block the EPA`s regulations but it was defeated.
"We already provide these emission controls. This is additional regulation, costs on the plants and ultimately the consumer," Hoeven said.
Hoeven sided with Republicans on the bill, saying the state of North Dakota already has some of the cleanest air in the nation. Hoeven says the additional regulations will end up costing the coal industry an additional $10 billion a year to implement.
Democrats see it differently.
"This will cost the energy sector funds to comply with it but the benefits to society as a whole greatly outweigh the costs," Conrad said.
Democrats say by reducing the mercury emissions, the regulations will prevent 11,000 premature deaths, 130,000 cases of childhood asthma and several thousand days of missed work due to respiratory illnesses.
Republicans say plants could close down and cost people jobs.
"We want things done right and well but we want it done in a way that empowers the development of new plants with the proper technology," said Hoeven.
The bill`s defeat means the EPA`s regulations will stand and coal powered plants will need to comply. The bill was defeated by a vote of 53-46.