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, 2012, the 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