INHOFE SAYS ATTEMPT TO OVERTURN ADMINISTRATIONíS MERCURY RULE DELAYS PROGRESS AND WILL SHIFT POWER PLANTS AWAY FROM COAL TOWARD MORE COSTLY NATURAL GAS

WASHINGTON, DC ñ Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, issued the following statement today upon learning that the sponsors of S. J. Res. 20, a resolution to disapprove the first-ever regulation of mercury emissions from power plants, have decided to circumvent the committee process and deny a hearing by filing a petition for its discharge: ìFor the last three years, I have promoted comprehensive clean air legislation, Clear Skies, over piecemeal regulations that are susceptible to litigation and delays such as what weíre seeing today,î said Senator Inhofe. ìItís unfortunate that the sponsors of S. J. Res. 20 are hastily seeking to circumvent the committee process in which we could discuss the pros and cons of the existing mercury rule and their resolution. Their proposed rollback of the mercury rule, the first regulation of its kind applied to power plants, will only delay progress in reducing mercury emissions. ìThe sponsorsí hidden attempt to force a Maximum Achievable Control Technology, or MACT, standard will only shift more plants away from coal use to more costly natural gas. Coal is the most reliable and affordable domestic source of energy, but a MACT standard would not favor its continued use, meaning even higher energy prices for our families and businesses large and small.î