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Coal Industry Lobby Continues To Place Profits Over Public Health & Jobs

Ignoring harm to people as a result of dirty coal technology
June 8, 2011
Washington, D.C. —

The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a coal lobby group, released a report today claiming two new clean air regulations, the Clean Air Transport Rule and the Mercury Air Toxics Standard would cause their industry undue harm. What these industries do is ignore the harm done by old, dirty coal plants to the American people every day.

The following is a statement from Trip Van Noppen, president of Earthjustice:

“For the past 40 years, every time the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency establishes or strengthens air pollution standards, Americans are told it will be the end of the world. However, for every dollar spent ridding our air of toxic chemicals and pollution, the public has received $40 in health savings under the Clean Air Act. For this reason, Americans should be skeptical when polluters claim the sky is falling.

“More importantly, power companies can afford to stop killing people and giving kids asthma. We have some very old, very dirty coal plants in this country, and they have made a lot of money for their owners at the expense of human health. Now it's time for industry to choose whether to invest in overdue clean-ups or retire some of the bad apples in their fleets.

“Many forward-looking utilities are already close to meeting the new health standards. Also, plant upgrades create jobs. The Institute of Clean Air Companies estimates that the first phase of the Clean Air Transport Rule resulted in 200,000 jobs in the air pollution control industry. Claiming the profits of dirty, older coal plants is more important than technology that could prevent premature deaths, heart attacks, and other health problems is short-sighted and immoral.”

Additional information: The Air Pollution Control Industry's Ability to Meet Future Demands


Brian Smith, Earthjustice, (510) 550-6714