Today, the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency released the first-ever nationwide protections against toxic mercury emissions from our nation’s dirtiest power plants. Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury pollution in the United States. Along with cleaning air and water supplies, EPA rules covering mercury and other pollutants will have significant cost and health benefits. EPA estimates show that as of 2016, lowering emissions would save $59 billion to $140 billion in annual health costs, prevent 11,000 premature deaths a year, cut illnesses and associated lost workdays.
Michael Bloomberg, whose Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the Sierra Club on their Beyond Coal Campaign, had this to say about the announcement today:
“Today, the President has done the right thing by ignoring the false claims of a narrow special interest and siding with the public health and the public good. The new EPA mercury standards will save countless lives and improve the quality of life for millions. The new rules will also accelerate the country’s move away from heavily polluting coal power plants to cleaner energy sources that will continue to stimulate investment and economic activity long into the future.”
About the Beyond Coal Campaign:
With a $50 million commitment over four years, Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign to effectively retire one third of the nation's aging coal fleet by 2020, replacing it with clean energy. The Beyond Coal Campaign is working to retire one third of the nation’s coal fleet by 2020, by making sure current environmental laws are enforced, by helping local communities that oppose existing plants, and by encouraging the use of alternative power sources.