New EPA Rules Will Forcibly Close Gas And Coal-Fired Power Plants

So much for the West Virginia vs. EPA Supreme Court decision.

The Biden administration said Wednesday that it would require coal- and oil-fired power plants to reduce emissions of several hazardous air pollutants, including mercury, a neurotoxin that can cause developmental problems in infants and children.

The proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency has two broad policy aims: Reduce dangerous toxins in the environment, while also encouraging the transition away from coal-burning power plants and toward cleaner energy sources like solar and wind.

The proposal sets up a likely legal battle with the coal industry and several Republican-led states, which fought to block a previous effort to regulate mercury under the Obama administration. The Obama-era rule, which took effect in 2012, was credited with reducing mercury emissions by about 90 percent.

However, the E.P.A. found that mercury coming from power plants still posed a risk to human health. So the new rule aims to strengthen the limits for mercury emissions from affected coal-burning power plants by 70 percent. It also would further restrict other toxic pollutants like lead, nickel and arsenic.

The effect of Biden’s new rule will be the same as Obama’s: destroy the lives of people who work in fossil fuel-powered energy plants and industries that extract them too. If the plants in question do not meet the EPA’s mandated goals between 2035 and 2040, they will be forced to shut down, despite most of them operating on fossil fuels.

In terms of renewable energy, it is abundantly clear Europe’s experience with them has not been good for Europeans.