Free-Market and Conservative Coalition Urges Yes on S. J. RES 37, The Inhofe Resolution to Stop Utility MACT

June 11, 2012 J

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of our organizations, we urge you to VOTE YES on the Inhofe Resolution, S.J. Res 37, to overturn the so-called Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, better known as the Utility Maximum Achievable Control Technology (Utility MACT) rule.

Utility MACT is the most expensive environmental regulation in history, will increase electricity and natural gas prices (hitting low-income households hardest), and will put tens of thousands of Americans out of work.

It is a failed solution to a nonexistent problem. In the 22 years since the Clean Air Act tasked the EPA to study the health risk of mercury emissions from power plants, the EPA has not identified a single child whose learning or other disabilities can be traced to prenatal mercury exposure. The EPA estimates that the required mercury emission reductions will produce $0.5 million to $6 million in annual health benefits. This estimate rests on a chain of questionable and even unrealistic assumptions. But even if it were correct, the estimated compliance costs would exceed the benefits of reducing mercury and other “toxic” emissions by a ratio of 1,600 to one or even 19,200 to one.

Moreover, Utility MACT is part of an attempt to circumvent Congress and advance the same extreme anti-energy agenda that Congress and the American people already rejected when it was offered by President Obama as cap-and-trade.

In 2008, Barack Obama explained his energy policy like this: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad.” He went on to explain: “So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them.”

The day after the 2010 election, Obama said: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way.  It was a means, not an end.”

The Obama administration is now apparently pursuing the same end of bankrupting coal and causing electricity prices to skyrocket via regulatory means, and Utility MACT (which the EPA’s own low-ball estimate indicates will cost over $10 billion per year) is a key element of that effort.

CNN recently reported that over 90 percent of utility industry executives believe the costs of Utility MACT and related regulations will be passed on to retail customers, and more than half predict the price increases will be significant.

Combined with the pending greenhouse gas new source performance standards, Utility MACT could cripple all coal-fired power plants with costs running into the hundreds of billions.

We urge you to take your responsibility as a United States Senator seriously and to stop the effort to usurp legislative power and make electricity prices skyrocket via the Utility MACT rule.

We urge you to VOTE YES on S.J. Res. 37


Jim Martin, Chairman
60 Plus Association

Phil Kerpen, President
American Commitment

Larry Hart, Director of Government Relations
American Conservative Union

Gary Bauer, President
American Values

James Valvo, Director of Policy
Americans for Prosperity

Grover Norquist, President
Americans for Tax Reform

Jeffrey Mazzella, President
Center for Individual Freedom

Chris Chocola, President
Club for Growth

Matthew J. Brouillette, President & CEO
Commonwealth Foundation

Marlo Lewis, Senior Fellow
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Ron Pearson, President
Council for America

Tom Schatz, President
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Steven J. Law, President
Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies

Myron Ebell, President
Freedom Action

Wayne Brough, Chief Economist and VP for Research

George Landrith, President
Frontiers of Freedom

Michael A. Needham, Chief Executive Officer
Heritage Action for America

Andrew Langer, President
Institute for Liberty

Seton Motley, President
Less Government

Colin A. Hanna, President
Let Freedom Ring

Richard W. C. Falknor, Chairman
Maryland Center-Right Coalition

Ben Cunningham, President
Nashville Tea Party

Amy Ridenour, Chairman
National Center for Public Policy Research

Tom Zawistowski, President
Ohio Liberty Coalition

Eli Lehrer, President
R Street

David Williams, President
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

C. Preston Noell III, President
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Carl Bearden, Executive Director
United for Missouri

Morton Blackwell, Chairman
The Weyrich Lunch

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