Monday, June 2, 2014

EPA admits alleged health benefits from CO2 regulation are from different regulations already in effect

President Obama and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy are selling their onerous regulations on CO2 from existing power plants by disingenuously claiming co-benefits of reduced asthma attacks and heart attacks:
“in just the first year that these [CO2] standards go into effect, up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks will be avoided — and those numbers will go up from there.”
However, buried in the newly proposed rule which only regulates harmless & essential CO2 is the admission from the EPA that the alleged health benefits are from a different rule that has been in effect since February 16, 2012the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule. According to the EPA, "The EPA is closely monitoring MATS compliance and finds that the industry is making substantial progress."

Thus, the new EPA regulations on CO2 will add nothing to the existing regulations on actual air pollutants that are already in place, accomplishing nothing for public health nor the climate. The attempts by President Obama and Gina McCarthy to claim the new regulations on CO2 will prevent "up to 100,000 asthma attacks and 2,100 heart attacks" per year are disingenuous and have no basis in fact.

Excerpt from the newly proposed EPA rule on CO2 emissions:

C. Interactions with Other EPA Rules 

Existing fossil fuel-fired EGUs, such as those covered in 
this proposal, are or will be potentially impacted by several 
other recently finalized or proposed EPA rules.

On February 16, 2012, the EPA issued the mercury and air 
toxics standards (MATS) rule (77 FR 9304) to reduce 
emissions of toxic air pollutants  
from new and existing coal- and oil-fired EGUs. The MATS rule 
will reduce emissions of heavy metals, including mercury (Hg), 
arsenic (As), chromium (Cr), and nickel (Ni); and acid gases, 
including hydrochloric acid (HCl) and hydrofluoric acid (HF). 
These toxic air pollutants, also known as hazardous air 
pollutants or air toxics, are known or suspected of causing 
damage to the nervous system, cancer, and other serious health 
effects. The MATS rule will also reduce SO2 and fine particle 
pollution, which will reduce particle concentrations in the air 
and prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands 
of heart attacks, bronchitis cases and asthma episodes.  
The EPA is closely monitoring MATS compliance and finds 
that the industry is making substantial progress. Plant owners 
are moving proactively to install controls that will achieve the 
MATS performance standards. Certain units, especially those that 
operate infrequently, may be considered not worth investing in 
given today’s electricity market, and those are closing. 
Existing sources subject to the MATS rule are given until 
April 16, 2015 to comply with the rule's requirements. The final 
MATS rule provided a foundation on which states and other 
permitting authorities could rely in granting an additional, 
fourth year for compliance provided for by the CAA. States 
report that these fourth year extensions are being granted. In 
addition, the EPA issued an enforcement policy that provides a 
clear pathway for reliability-critical units to receive an 
administrative order that includes a compliance schedule of up 
to an additional year, if it is needed to ensure electricity 

Related: Broken Record: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Plays the Asthma Card

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