Carper Statement on Supreme Court’s Decision on EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) released the following statement today after the Supreme Court ruled on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

“I’m disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision on the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. For more than two decades, members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have been trying to find ways to reduce our nation’s largest source of unregulated mercury emissions – fossil fuel power plants. From 2002 through 2008, many of my colleagues joined me in supporting the Clean Air Planning Act, which addressed mercury, carbon and other dangerous pollutants from power plants. Unfortunately, Congress was never able to pass this legislation and left the issue up to the EPA to address under the current authorities of the Clean Air Act. The Mercury and Air Toxics Standards was the EPA’s attempt to regulate these dangerous emissions in the absence of Congressional action.”

“Because of this effort, investments in reducing mercury emissions have been made and many power plants are already on their way to compliance. I fear this ruling will stall or delay this important progress. The ruling requires the EPA to go back and look at costs, and I am confident that doing so will show that limiting dangerous mercury and other toxic emissions is a positive force for protecting the environment and public health, as well as growing our economy. In fact, the EPA has estimated that for every dollar spent to reduce toxic pollution from power plants, the American public would see up to $9 in health benefits. As the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, I will be working with the administration, the impacted states and my colleagues to ensure we find a swift solution to ensure all states do their fair share to clean up our air.”