Democrat Controlled Senate Votes to Keep Costly EPA Restrictions

Published June 21, 2012

The U.S. Senate yesterday voted to keep costly EPA mercury restrictions on power plants. The Senate voted largely along party lines, with just a few Senators from each party bucking their party leadership. 

The EPA restrictions are so severe as to effectively ban the future construction of coal-fired power plants. Coal powers nearly half the nation’s electricity and is substantially less expensive than alternative power sources, so the EPA restrictions will necessarily cause steep increases in energy prices that will act as a punitive economic tax without generating any tax revenues.

EPA announced its costly new restrictions despite the Agency’s own data showing a 67 percent decline in emissions of the six principal pollutants since 1980. 

Mercury expert Willie Soon is one of many scientists who have documented the faulty assumptions behind EPA’s new restrictions. Soon published a recent editorial in the Washington Times showing mercury emissions are not jeopardizing human health.

Five Democrats voted to block the EPA restrictions, and five Republicans voted for the restrictions. The Senators who crossed party lines are Democrats Mary Landrieu (LA), Joe Manchin, Ben Nelson (NE), Mark Warner (VA), and Jim Webb (VA), and Republicans Lamar Alexander (TN), Kelly Ayotte (NH), Scott Brown (MA), Susan Collins (ME), and Olympia Snowe (ME).