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New federal rules limiting Mercury emissions from coal fired power plants -- -- critics today they say the regulations are inefficient costly and will result in less reliable national power grid.
Environmental Protection Agency says the new rules will combat toxic air emissions.
Kentucky congressman Ed Whitfield -- chairman of the house subcommittee on energy and -- he joins me now -- their congressman.
Hello this -- then you -- so -- today is announcing these new regulations they say to limit.
Mercury basically from spewing.
Into the environment now that sounds like a good thing -- -- opposed to it.
Well first of all that's not actually the case.
They're already strict regulations relating to Mercury emissions all of the hearings that we held on this.
A utility regulation.
The benefits would come from reduce particulate matter not Mercury at all so EPA is being very misleading on that issue.
Now the EPA estimates according to them that this new rule would create 9000.
Long term jobs.
And of course it didn't calculate and here's where the rub is the jobs would be lost from closing some of these utility companies do you.
Do you buy the 9000.
New jobs plan.
No I do not we've had extensive hearings on this those are pure speculative numbers.
It's so interesting this EPA indicates that when they did issue new regulations they're always going to create new jobs.
That has not been the case we do know that there will be a significant loss of jobs.
Because many coal power plants are going to be closed -- resolve of this regulation.
And EPA never considers the cost in the communities.
Where the jobs.
-- the balancing act obviously jobs of -- health or -- -- the environment because as I'm sure you know for the past several years.
Doctors have been advising pregnant women not to eat any fish when they're pregnant because the Mercury levels are so high.
So so what to do about this -- -- whoever controls the EPA hasn't placed are not working if are fish are tainted.
Well let me just say this -- you decide does that testify before our committee.
Were -- unanimous in the view that.
There's not going to be any benefit from this.
-- regulation and reducing Mercury levels.
All of the benefits were calculated.
From the reduction of particulate matter which is already covered under ambient air quality standard regulation.
If this is about closing coal plants.
And that's precisely what it's about.
And -- about closing those coal plants if they.
Come off line if they are closed what happens to the power grid into the electricity in states where these coal plants are now.
Well we have a number of concerns first thought as you know our economy is sputtering.
Electricity is a tremendous component and economic growth in the price of electricity.
So what of the other concerns we have -- this is what you're talking about that is reliability.
Because many plants are gonna have to be -- many other plants are gonna have to be retrofitted with new equipment and by the way the cost on this.
Looks like it's going to be an excess of ten billion dollars through the year 23.
So reliability is a tremendous issue.
Does not have any interest in that whatsoever.
Well congressman Ed Whitfield thanks so much for coming in and explaining all this to us we appreciate it.
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