Coal-industry group cheers after high court strikes down EPA's Mercury Rule

The West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) released a statement last week in support of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury Rule, which limited allowable emissions from power plants.

The 5-4 decision blocked the proposed rule under the Clean Air Act. The majority said the EPA failed to take into account the potential economic costs of the rule. The lawsuit was brought by the coal industry and 23 states that rely heavily on coal mining and coal-powered electricity.

“The West Virginia coal industry, its employees and the entire State of West Virginia have been particularly hard-hit by the impacts of the EPA’s regulation, which has spurred a massive closure of coal-fired power plants across the country,” Bill Raney, president of the WVCA, said. “Today’s decision is an important first step in reining in a clearly out-of-control bureaucratic agency that intends to implement its vision for America’s future regardless of congressional intent, cost to the consumer, risk to electricity reliability and impact to the nation’s coal-mining regions. We are still reviewing the decision and its implications, but I think it’s fair to say that the Supreme Court handed down a decision for common sense and affordable energy today.”

U.S. News magazine said the equipment that would need to be installed and operational costs would be approximately $9.6 billion annually for companies to implement the rule. The EPA said benefits could have reached between $37 billion and $90 billion on an annual basis in the prevention of illnesses and deaths, and could have prevented approximately 540,000 lost workdays nationwide.

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