[Congressional Record Volume 158, Number 94 (Wednesday, June 20, 2012)]
[Pages S4314-S4334]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I now move to proceed to S.J. Res. 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The clerk will report the motion.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       Motion to proceed to calendar No. 430, S.J. Res. 37, a 
     joint resolution to disapprove a rule promulgated by the 
     Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency relating 
     to emission standards for certain steam generating units.

                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                    Washington, DC, June 19, 2012.

                   discharge of further consideration

       We, the undersigned Senators, in accordance with chapter 8 
     of title 5, United States Code, hereby direct the Senate 
     Committee on Environment and Public Works be discharged of 
     further consideration of S.J. Res. 37, a resolution on 
     providing for congressional disapproval of a rule submitted 
     by the Environmental Protection Agency related to emission 
     standards for certain steam generating units.
         John Boozman, David Vitter, John Cornyn, Jon Kyl, Pat 
           Roberts, James M. Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Tom Coburn, 
           John McCain, Mike Lee, Patrick J. Toomey, Marco Rubio, 
           John Thune, John Barrasso, Thad Cochran, Jim DeMint, 
           Roy Blunt, Richard Burr, Rand Paul, Jerry Moran, Rob 
           Portman, Michael B. Enzi, Lisa Murkowski, Daniel Coats, 
           Saxby Chambliss, Roger F. Wicker, Orrin Hatch, Kay 
           Bailey Hutchison, Jeff Sessions, Mitch McConnell, Ron 
           Johnson, Mike Johanns, James E. Risch, John Hoeven, 
           Richard Shelby.

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republican leader.
  Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, it has become pretty clear over the 
past few months that President Obama now views his job as the 
deflector-in-chief. No longer content to lay all the Nation's problems 
at the feet of his predecessor, he has taken to creating controversies 
out of whole cloth. Whether it is a manufactured fight over student 
loan rates or the so-called war on women, the goal is as clear as you 
can imagine: get reporters to focus on these things, and maybe the rest 
of the country will as well; get them to focus on anything other than 
the President's own failure to turn the economy around, and maybe he 
can squeak by without folks noticing it. That is the plan at least and, 
frankly, it could not reflect a more misguided view of the American 
people. They know who has been in charge the past 3\1/2\ years, and the 
fact that the President has had a tough job to do does not mean he gets 
a pass on how he has handled it or on the solutions he has proposed.
  Most Americans do not like either one of the President's two 
signature pieces of legislation--ObamaCare or the stimulus. They are 
not particularly thrilled about seeing America's credit rating 
downgraded for the first time ever. They are scared to death about a 
$16 trillion debt, trillion-dollar deficits, and chronic joblessness. 
And many, including myself, are deeply concerned about this 
administration's thuggish attempts to shut its critics right out of the 
political process. These are the kinds of things Americans have been 
telling us for 3 years that they are worried about, and we are not 
about to be drawn into some rabbit hole so the President does not have 
to talk about them. We are going to stay focused on all of these 
things--not because of some political advantage but because the 
American people demand it. So the President can come up with the excuse 
de jour, but we are going to talk about jobs, we are going to talk 
about the deficits and debt, and we will talk about the Constitution.
  When it comes to jobs, let's be clear. This administration has been 
engaged in a war on the private sector, and in many cases it has used 
Federal agencies and a heavyhanded regulatory process to wage it 
largely out of view. We got a vivid confirmation of this when an EPA 
official was caught comparing the EPA's enforcement approach to the 
Roman use of crucifixion. Brutalize a few offenders, he said, and the 
rest will be scared into submission.
  Call me naive, but I think most Americans think the government should 
be working for them, not against them. I think most Americans think the 
Federal Government should be working to create the conditions for 
Americans to prosper, not looking for any opportunities to undercut 
free enterprise. Yet that is what we see--an administration that always 
seems to assume the worst of the private sector and whose policies are 
aimed at undermining it. And nowhere is it more clear than at EPA.
  That is why I support Senator Inhofe's ongoing efforts, including a 
vote today, to push back on the EPA, which has become one of the lead 
culprits in this administration's war on American jobs. Senator Inhofe 
is focusing on just one regulation out of the many that are crushing 
businesses across the country--the so-called Utility MACT, which would 
cost American companies billions in upgrades, but for their competitors 
overseas, of course, it would cost them nothing. This regulation would 
expand the already massive powers given to the EPA by increasing 
redtape and costing the taxpayer over $10 billion each year. In my 
State of Kentucky, it threatens the jobs of over 1,400 people working 
in aluminum smelter plants, as well as approximately 18,000 coal 
miners, not to mention those engaged in industries that support these 
  Kentucky Power, operator of the only coal-burning powerplant in my 
State, recently conceded defeat in this fight after the EPA demanded 
upgrades to its plants at a cost of nearly $1 billion, raising the 
typical residential customer's monthly electric bill by a whopping 30 
percent. At that price, it is no wonder the plant found the new 
regulations completely unworkable. The EPA may have won this battle, 
but the real losers are more than 170,000 homes and businesses spread 
out amongst 20 eastern Kentucky counties that depend on the Kentucky 
Power plant for their energy.
  The proponents of the Utility MACT say it is needed to improve air 
quality. What they cannot tell you is what these benefits would be or 
the effect of leaving the plants in their current condition. Look, we 
all support clean air, but if we waved through every regulation that 
promised to improve air quality without regard for its actual impact, 
we would not be able to produce anything in this country.
  What we do know is that a substantial amount of the electricity we 
produce in this country comes from coal, and this new regulation would 
devastate the jobs that depend on this cheap, abundant resource. This 
is just one battle in the administration's war on jobs, but it has a 
devastating consequence for real people and real families in my State 
and in many others. The administration's nonchalant attitude about 
these people is appalling, but this is precisely the danger of having 
unelected bureaucrats in Washington playing with the livelihoods of 
Americans as if they are nothing more than just pieces on a chessboard.
  The media may continue to chase whatever issue the President and his 
campaign decide to fabricate from day to day, but these are the facts 
behind this President's devastating economic policies, and that is why 
it is a story the President would rather the media ignored. Well, 
Republicans are not going to ignore it. We are going to keep talking 
about the President's policies. So I commend Senator Inhofe for keeping 
us focused on this particular policy that is devastating to so many 
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Under the previous order, the time 
until 11:30 a.m. will be equally divided and controlled between the two 
leaders or their designees, with the Republicans controlling the first 
15 minutes and the majority controlling the second 15 minutes.
  The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, in our first round, we are going to 
yield to

[[Page S4315]]

the Senator from Alaska Ms. Murkowski for 10 minutes and then to 
Senator Manchin for 5 minutes. In the second round, we are going to be 
having Senators Barrasso, Boozman, Risch, Blunt, Kyl, and Toomey.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Alaska.
  Ms. MURKOWSKI. Madam President, I think most Americans would agree it 
is important that we strike a proper balance between abundant and 
affordable energy and responsible standards of environmental 
performance. But too often in recent years, the energy-environmental 
balance has been lost. Restoring a sense of equilibrium is important 
for both the health of the American people and our Nation's economy. 
Although we see the need for this balance every day in Alaska, 
restoring it has become what I think is a national challenge. That is 
why I support Senator Inhofe's resolution to disapprove the mercury and 
air toxics standards or the MATS rule.
  Congress has tasked the EPA with implementing laws to protect public 
health. That statutory obligation absolutely requires respect. But 
although the executive branch gets to make reasonable policy calls in 
performing that duty, its regulatory authority is strictly bounded by 
  Today's EPA too often seems to impose requirements that go beyond 
what is authorized or needed. This overreaching stifles the energy and 
natural resource production the Nation needs to restore prosperity and 
technological leadership, and the sad thing is the resulting rules do 
not credibly improve public health.
  EPA is now proceeding with an unprecedented litany of new rules whose 
benefits are murky at best but whose costs are very real and 
detrimental to human welfare. The Nation can and must strike a better 
balance. Even in today's divided times, a broad consensus remains. 
Achieving affordable and abundant energy coupled with strong 
environmental standards is the right combination.
  Most would also agree that energy and environment-related public 
policy decisions should be based on the facts and informed by rigorous 
scientific discourse. Applying this consensus shows that the devil is 
in the details. So let's look closely at the MATS rule. If this rule is 
allowed to stand, it will put electric reliability at unacceptable risk 
and raise electricity costs with very little, if any, appreciable 
benefit to human health.
  The North American Electric Reliability Corporation or NERC, which is 
the independent federally certified ``Electric Reliability 
Organization,'' recently reported that ``environmental regulations are 
shown to be the number one risk to reliability over the next . . . 5 
years.'' That is the statement from NERC.
  The members of the relatively small and apolitical groups of 
engineers who keep the lights on and administer electricity markets 
tell me they are worried not only about the reliability of electric 
service but about its affordability. I would like to speak to the 
affordability side in just a minute.
  Reasonable regulation, clearly appropriate; and EPA has the 
discretion, indeed the obligation, to adopt balanced rules. But, 
unfortunately, EPA's approach has been aimed more at its statutory 
obligations. Through MATS and through other rules, EPA wants to 
influence how investments in energy production are made. So it has 
imposed a series of very stringent obligations that perhaps are not 
even achievable.
  For example, the Institute of Clean Air Companies, which is an 
association representing emissions control technology vendors--these 
are the guys who sell all of this stuff--has asked EPA to reconsider 
MATS and has said:

       Our member companies cannot ensure that the new final 
     source [mercury] standard can be achieved in practice.

  These are those who would make a profit off of selling these. They 
are saying they do not think that it can be achieved.
  Even though I believe the United Mine Workers of America, who say 
their comments ``and like-minded [ones] to EPA on the proposed MATS 
rule were ignored,'' it does not have to be this way. EPA received 
thousands of pages of very detailed, very thoughtful proposals, for 
improving MATS.
  About 150 electric generators filed their comments. Edison Electric 
Institute, as just one example, filed more than 75 pages of very 
precise observations for improving MATS. They suggested many very 
specific changes. The States were active too. Twenty-seven States are 
seeking significant changes in the proposal. There were almost 20 
petitions for reconsideration pending at EPA, and they are pending now. 
Thirty petitions have been filed for judicial review. Twenty-four 
States have asked the courts to force EPA to do better with MATS.
  I always say we need to give credit where credit is due. On the 
treatment of condensable particulate matter--not many of us are focused 
on condensable particulate matter--EPA has made some good changes with 
regard to that, between the proposed and the final MATS rule. This 
dramatically reduced the need for construction of expensive pollution 
control devices known as ``bag houses.''
  By itself, this one change to the proposed rule reduced the overall 
cost of compliance by billions of dollars, and it relieved somewhat the 
challenges of maintaining electric reliability while achieving 
compliance with the rule. Adopting a more reasonable approach in this 
one area did not sacrifice any appreciable benefit. So more must be 
done. Congress must tell the EPA to revisit other suggestions for 
similar improvements.
  Why the need to keep forcing the improvements? The vast majority of 
the benefits to EPA claims from MATS are the result of its counting 
coincidental reductions of particulate matter below standards that EPA 
has determined are sufficient to protect public health. Emissions of 
mercury by American powerplants have declined over the past 20 years 
without the MATS rule. EPA itself estimates the annual benefits of 
mercury reduction attributable to the rule at only $500,000 to $6 
million but annual costs at almost $10 billion.
  Finally, EPA's actions are driving up the cost of electricity too. 
PJM, which is the independent regional transmission organization that 
is responsible for coordinating the movement of wholesale electricity 
in all or part of 13 States, as well as in the Nation's Capital, 
reported 2-year capacity price increases of 390 percent, most of which 
it attributed to the cost of environmental compliance with a nearly 
1,200-percent spike in northern Ohio.
  PJM also plans for about $2 billion in additional transmission 
investment to maintain reliability in the face of EPA's rules. Clearly, 
these are significant costs that will be passed on to our consumers. I 
think MATS is a major rule that needs a major reset by Congress. EPA 
could then devise a new rule that is truly aimed at protecting public 
health and carrying out the law rather than trying to push a particular 
fuel, coal, out of the market.
  I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his leadership on this issue.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I thank the Senator from Alaska for her 
very kind remarks. I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from Texas, Mr. 
  Mr. CORNYN. Madam President, I come to the floor to join my 
colleagues from Alaska, from Oklahoma, and others to express my 
disapproval. I intend to vote in favor of the resolution of disapproval 
of the Environmental Protection Agency's mercury and air toxins 
standards rule, also known as Utility MACT.
  Now, of course, sometimes the debate, when we talk about pollution, 
when we talk about the byproducts of coal-fired powerplants, is cast in 
apocalyptic-like terms that have no real bearing on reality or in terms 
of the science and in terms of the economic impact of the rule or the 
health benefits supposedly to be derived. I want to talk about that 
just briefly.
  While this rule claims to be about public safety, it is a job-
killing, ideologically driven attempt to cripple the coal industry in 
the United States, an industry that employs an awful lot of people, 
feeds a lot of families. This administration, unfortunately, is using 
the EPA to destroy a major source of reliable, affordable, base-lode 
electricity that we sorely need. The President talks about being for an 
all-of-the-above energy policy. Yet his administration, through this 
regulation we seek to disapprove today, is going to effectively take 
one of those most

[[Page S4316]]

abundant, low-cost sources of energy off the table for the American 
  Of course, Congress would never pass such a law in our own right, so 
the administration is using a ruling from an unelected group of 
bureaucrats who are not subject to political accountability. This is 
another example of executive overreach, and it is bad news for 
consumers and job creators alike.
  Power companies have confirmed that Utility MACT standards for new 
power sources are so stringent that no new coal-fired powerplant will 
be built in the United States. No new coal-fired powerplant will be 
built in the United States, no matter how modern and how clean the 
technology will allow that powerplant to operate. So the consequences 
will be that Utility MACT will damage grid reliability. It will destroy 
jobs, and it will raise electricity prices--not a small matter when 
many of our seniors are on fixed incomes and are going to suffer as a 
result of this rule that does not do what its advocates tout it for.
  The costs of Utility MACT will exceed the benefits by roughly 1,600 
to 1. Some claim that does not matter, that benefits are benefits no 
matter what the cost, no matter how much, how many jobs it kills, no 
matter how much it raises the price of electricity on seniors in my 
State who are living in very hot summers. If we have another year like 
we had last year--I hope we do not. We had 100-degree temperatures more 
than 70 days--and I think it was even more than that--it will threaten 
the capacity of the power grid to even produce the electricity so 
people can run their air conditioners. The detriment to our seniors in 
terms of public health and in terms of cost, being on a fixed income, 
is quite evident.
  According to the EPA, more than 99 percent of the health benefits 
from Utility MACT will not even come from mercury reductions but, 
rather, from reductions in particulate matter that are already 
regulated to safe levels under the Clean Air Act. So either the EPA 
will be double-counting existing benefits or else it will be setting 
new levels for other byproducts that are not justified by public health 
  In short, the benefits of this regulation are dubious, but the costs 
are real. They are already harming the U.S. economy with existing 
powerplants being shut down and others being scrapped. The United 
States currently has more than 1,400 coal-fired electricity-generating 
units operating at more than 600 plants.
  Together, these powerplants generate almost half of the electricity 
produced in our country. Again, we are not talking about taking wind 
energy off the table. We are not talking about other ways to generate 
electricity. But this is one of the cheapest, most abundant sources of 
energy in our country, and we are simply killing it.
  So sponsors of Utility MACT repeatedly tout its health benefits. But 
those are overstated. However, they understate the impact this will 
have on jobs. It will kill jobs. People will lose their jobs in a tough 
economy. I urge my colleagues to pull back the curtain on the EPA and 
see Utility MACT for what it is, an economic disaster shrouded in false 
claims about public health.
  Americans deserve smart regulation based on logic and sound science. 
Utility MACT is the exact opposite and deserves to be rejected.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Madam President, in the shadow of one seemingly 
narrow Senate vote, that being the Inhofe resolution of disapproval of 
the EPA's rule on mercury and air toxins, I rise to talk about West 
Virginia, about our people, our way of life, our health, our State's 
economic opportunity, and about our future.
  Coal has played an enormous part in our past and can play an enormous 
part in our future, but it will only happen if we face reality.
  This is a critical and a very contentious time in the Mountain State. 
The dialogue on coal, its impacts, and the Federal Government's role 
has reached a stunningly fevered pitch. Carefully orchestrated messages 
that strike fear into the hearts of West Virginians and feed 
uncertainty about coal's future are the subject of millions of dollars 
of paid television ads, billboards, breakroom bulletin boards, public 
meetings, letters, and lobbying campaigns.
  A daily onslaught declares that coal is under siege from harmful 
outside sources, and that the future of the State is bleak unless we 
somehow turn back the clock, ignore the present, and block the future.
  West Virginians understandably worry that a way of life and the 
dignity of a job is at stake. Change and uncertainty in the coal 
industry is unsettling and nothing new. But it is unsettling. My fear 
is that concerns are also being fueled by the narrow view of others 
with divergent views and motivations, one that denies the inevitability 
of change in the energy industry and unfairly--and I feel this 
strongly--leaves coal miners in the dust.
  The reality is those who run the coal industry today would rather 
attack false enemies and deny real problems than solve problems that 
would help them and the people they employ and the States in which they 
  Instead of facing the challenges of making tough decisions, similar 
to men of a different era, they are abrogating their responsibilities 
to lead. Back in the 1970s, I remember a fellow from Consolidation Coal 
named Bobby Brown. He got together with the United Mine Workers on his 
own. We were having a lot of temporary restraining orders and strikes 
at that time. They sat down, and because Bobby Brown was not a timid 
man--he was the head of a company, but he was a forceful leader--they 
worked out something which gave us peace in the coalfields of West 
Virginia--which is something--for a long time. It was a courageous act 
by a courageous nontimid man.
  Scare tactics are a cynical waste of time, money, and worst of all, 
coal miners' hopes. Coal miners buy into all the television they hear, 
are controlled by it, have large salaries. So in a sense they are stuck 
where they are, happily funded but without a place to look forward to. 
But sadly these days, coal operators have closed themselves off from 
any other opposing voices and almost none has the courage to speak out 
for change--any kind of change--even though it has been staring them in 
the face for decades. They have known about it. They have ignored it.
  This reminds me of the auto industry, which also resisted change for 
decades. Coal operators should learn from both the mistakes and the 
recent success of the automobile industry. I passionately believe coal 
miners deserve better than they are getting from coal operators, and 
West Virginians certainly deserve better also.
  Let's start with the truth. Coal, today, faces real challenges, even 
threats, and we all know what they are
  First, our coal reserves are finite and many coal-fired powerplants 
are aging. The cheap, easy coal seams are diminishing rapidly and 
production is falling, especially in the Central Appalachian Basin in 
southern West Virginia. Production is shifting to lower cost areas such 
as Illinois and the Powder River Basin in the Wyoming area. The average 
age of our Nation's 1,100-plus coal-fired plants is 42.5 years, with 
hundreds of plants even older. These plants run less often, are less 
economic, and are obviously less efficient.
  Second, natural gas use is on the rise. Power companies are switching 
to natural gas because of lower prices, cheaper construction costs, 
lower emissions, and vast, steady supplies. Even traditional coal 
companies such as CONSOL are increasingly investing in natural gas as 
opposed to coal.
  Third, the shift to a lower carbon economy is not going away. It is a 
disservice--a terrible disservice--to coal miners and their families to 
pretend it is, to tell them everything can be as it was. It can't be. 
That is over. Coal companies deny that we need to do anything to 
address climate change, despite the established scientific consensus 
and mounting national desire--including in West Virginia--for a 
cleaner, healthier environment.
  Despite the barrage of ads, the EPA alone is not going to make or 
break coal. Coal operators would love to think that is the case because 
it is a great target, and it is much easier to criticize than to do 
something. But there are many forces exerting pressure, and that agency 
is just one of them.
  Two years ago, I offered a time-out on EPA carbon rules, a 2-year 
suspension that could have broken the logjam

[[Page S4317]]

in Congress and given us the opportunity to address carbon issues 
aggressively and legislatively.
  But instead of supporting this approach, coal operators went for 
broke--they saw a fatter opportunity--when they demanded a complete 
repeal of all EPA authority to address carbon emissions forever. They 
demanded all or nothing. They turned aside a compromise and, in the 
end, they got nothing.
  Last year, they ran exactly the same play, demanding all or nothing 
on the cross-State air pollution rule, refusing to entertain any middle 
ground and denying even a hint of legitimacy for the views of the other 
side and they lost again--badly.
  Here we are with another all-or-nothing resolution, which is 
absolutely destined to fail, and we are arguing as months, weeks, and 
years go by. This foolish action wastes time and money that could have 
been invested in the future of coal. Instead, with each bad vote the 
coal operators get, they give away more of their leverage and lock in 
their failure.
  This time, the issue is whether to block an EPA rule, as has been 
said--the mercury and air toxics standards--that require coal-fired 
powerplants to reduce mercury and other toxic air pollution.
  I oppose this resolution because I care so much about West 
  Without good health--demeaned in this debate so far--it is hard to 
hold down a job or live the American dream. Chronic illness is 
debilitating. I have made a career in the Senate of health care. It 
impacts families' income, their prosperity, and ultimately families' 
happiness. The annual health benefits of the rule are enormous. EPA has 
relied on thousands of studies--thousands--that establish the serious 
and long-term impact of these pollutants on premature death, heart 
attacks, hospitalizations, pregnant women, babies, and children. Do 
West Virginians care about these kinds of things? I think they do.
  Moreover, it significantly reduces the largest remaining human-caused 
emission of mercury, which is a potent neurotoxin with fetal impact. 
Maybe some can shrug off the advice of the American Academy of 
Pediatrics and many other professional medical and scientific groups, 
but I do not.
  The rule has been in the works through a public process for many 
years. Some businesses--including some utilities in West Virginia--have 
already invested in technology and are ready to comply.
  Others have not prepared because they have chosen to focus on profit 
rather than upgrading or investing in these smaller, older, and less-
efficient coal-fired plants that were paid for decades ago and that 
they will tell us would be retired anyway.
  That is right. Every single plant slated for closure in West Virginia 
was already on the chopping block from their own corporate board's 
  It is important to be truthful with miners. It is sort of a forgotten 
art, and that is a travesty. We have to be truthful with miners that 
coal plants will close because of decisions made by corporate boards 
long ago, not just because of EPA regulations but because the plants 
are no longer economical as utilities build low-emission natural gas 
  Natural gas has its challenges too, with serious questions about 
water contamination and shortages and other environmental concerns. But 
while coal executives pine for the past, the natural gas folks look to 
the future, investing in technology to reduce their environmental 
footprint, and they are working with others on ways to support the safe 
development of gas. We are all going to be watching that very closely, 
are we not?
  It is not too late for the coal industry to step up and lead--
leadership--by embracing the realities of today and creating a 
sustainable future. It has not been too late for a long time. Discard 
the scare tactics. Stop denying science. Listen to what markets are 
saying about greenhouse gases and other environmental concerns. Listen 
to what West Virginians are saying about their water, air and health 
and the cost of caring for seniors and children who are most 
susceptible to pollution.
  Stop and listen to West Virginians--miners and families included--who 
see the bitterness of the fight we are having now and which has been 
going on forever. The bitterness of the fight has taken on more 
importance than any potential solutions. The point is put up block 
after block, which loses time after time, but at least they have a 
fight and something to scream about, all with no progress.
  Those same miners care deeply about their children's health. They 
care about them. They are family people. I know that. I went there in 
1964 and lived among miners for 2 years, and I have now lived among 
them ever since, closely and intimately. They care about what people 
all over the country care about. They care about the streams and 
mountains of West Virginia. They know down deep we can't keep to the 
same path. They are not allowed to say so, but they know that.
  Miners, their families, and their neighbors are why I went to West 
Virginia. They are why I made our State my home. I have been proud to 
stand shoulder to shoulder with coal miners, and we have done a lot of 
good together over the years.
  For more than 36 years, I have worked to protect the health and 
safety of coal miners, everything from the historic Coal Act back in 
1992 to my safety laws, pensions and black lung benefits--always with 
miners' best interests in mind.
  Despite what critics contend, I am standing with coal miners by 
voting against this resolution.
  I don't support this resolution of disapproval because it does 
nothing to look to the future of coal. It moves us backward, not 
forward. Unless this industry aggressively leans into the future, coal 
miners will be the big losers.
  Beyond the frenzy over this one EPA rule, we need to focus squarely 
on the real task of finding a long-term future for something called 
clean coal. That is possible. We have demonstrated that. That is being 
done in various places in the country right now. This will address 
legitimate environmental and health concerns and, of course, global 
warming and all that counts.
  Let me be clear. Yes, I am frustrated with much of the top levels of 
the coal industry, at least in my State of West Virginia, but most of 
the corporate headquarters are elsewhere. However, I am not giving up 
hope for a strong clean coal future. I am not giving up. To get there, 
we will need a bold partner, innovation, and major public and private 
  In the meantime, we should not forget that coal-fired powerplants 
would provide good jobs for thousands of West Virginians. It remains 
the underpinning for many of our small communities, and I will always 
be focused on their future.
  Instead of finger-pointing, we should commit ourselves to a smart 
action plan that will help with job transition opportunities, sparking 
new manufacturing and exploring the next generation of technology--not 
just be dependent upon coal but a lot of things.
  None of this is impossible. Solving big challenges is what we do in 
West Virginia. I would much rather embrace the future boldly.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, before Senator Rockefeller leaves, I 
wish to take 30 seconds to say something. I believe that when the next 
historians write the book about leadership, courage, and integrity in 
the Senate, this speech will be featured in that book. I am so proud of 
the Senator from West Virginia.
  How much time remains between the two sides?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority controls 36 minutes, 
the Republicans control 39 minutes.
  Mr. INHOFE. It is our understanding we have approximately 42 minutes 
apiece and that we will go back and forth.
  Mrs. BOXER. The Chair just said there is 39 minutes for the 
Republicans and 36 for us.
  Mr. INHOFE. I like that.
  Madam President, I yield to the Senator from South Dakota for 7 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. THUNE. I thank the Senator from Oklahoma for his leadership on 
this issue, for yielding the time, and I appreciate everything he has 
done to bring S.J. Res. 37 to the floor of the Senate.
  As the father of two daughters, I want a cleaner, safer, healthier 
environment for their generation and for

[[Page S4318]]

future generations. Thanks to the commonsense policies that balance 
economic growth with a cleaner environment, our country has made 
significant progress toward improving the quality of our air and water. 
We have made progress under Republican Presidents and we have made 
progress under Democratic Presidents. We have also made progress during 
Democratic control and Republican control of the Senate.
  But what the Obama administration is doing with this regulation, and 
with many of the other policies that pertain to energy, is pursuing an 
ideologically driven agenda in which the costs far outweigh the 
benefits. He promised his energy plan would necessarily make 
electricity costs skyrocket, and his policies are clearly delivering on 
that promise.
  A prime example of that flawed agenda is Utility MACT, which is the 
most expensive regulation in EPA's history, with an estimated cost of 
$10 billion. These are costs that will be passed on to families and 
small businesses across the country at a time when we are experiencing 
the worst economic recovery in over 60 years.
  We all know the statistics. Unemployment has been at 8 percent now 
for 40 consecutive months. Real unemployment is above 14 percent. There 
are 23 million Americans who are not working today, and 5.4 million 
Americans have remained out of work for over a year. Despite these 
facts, President Obama continues to push regulations such as Utility 
MACT that are going to make energy more expensive and, at the same 
time, destroy good-paying jobs.
  According to the National Economic Research Associates, Utility MACT 
will cost between 180,000 and 215,000 jobs by the year 2015. When 
including President Obama's other regulations on the electric power 
sector, the United States stands to lose approximately 1.65 million 
jobs by the year 2020. We simply cannot afford these politically driven 
regulations at a time when 23 million Americans remain unemployed or 
  Low-income and middle-class families are the ones who will be hit the 
hardest by the administration's actions. Families who earn less than 
$50,000 already spend 21 percent of their income on energy costs 
compared to 9 percent for those making more than $50,000. Now, thanks 
to the EPA's regulatory actions, those costs are going to go up an 
average of 6\1/2\ percent and as much as 19 percent in some areas. 
Middle-class incomes have already fallen by over $4,300 these past 3 
years, and now President Obama wants to further burden them with higher 
energy costs.
  These higher energy costs are not some far-off projection. In many 
cases, these costs are already being realized. As an example, PJM, 
which is a regional transmission organization which coordinates the 
movement of wholesale electricity in 13 States and the District of 
Columbia, in its May 2012 capacity auction reported 2-year capacity 
price increases of 390 percent. PJM is reporting a nearly tenfold 
increase in wholesale energy costs in northern Ohio. According to one 
of their spokespersons,

       Capacity prices were higher than last year's because of 
     retirements of existing coal-fired generation resulting 
     largely from environmental regulations which go into effect 
     in 2015.

  The result could cause electricity bills across the PJM region to 
increase by up to $130 and potentially much higher in places such as 
northern Ohio.
  In addition to electricity rates, EPA's agenda will drive up the cost 
of food, transportation, fuels, and manufactured goods, as those costs 
get passed on across all the sectors of the economy. The end result is 
more pain for the middle class, slower economic growth, and fewer jobs.
  The President likes to talk a lot about fairness, so I will ask my 
colleagues: Is it fair that unaccountable EPA bureaucrats are going to 
drive up utility bills by up to 19 percent? Is it fair manufacturers 
are going to have to pay higher energy bills rather than hire new 
workers? Is it fair that small towns across the Midwest are already 
being devastated by coal plant closings on account of regulations from 
the Obama administration? Is it fair that thousands of workers are 
going to be laid off and lose not only their paychecks but their 
employer-provided health care coverage as well?
  For most South Dakotans and millions of hard-working taxpayers across 
the country, I believe the answer is that the consequences of these 
regulations are inherently unfair. They penalize hard-working middle-
class Americans.
  In the case of Utility MACT, consumers are going to pay a heavy price 
for President Obama's political agenda to restrict access to the 
abundant and affordable sources of domestic energy we possess in this 
  Most Americans believe regulations should work for consumers and not 
against consumers. Unfortunately, EPA bureaucrats have drafted the 
Utility MACT regulation in an inefficient and unworkable manner. 
Utility MACT's new source standards are so strict they cannot possibly 
be met.
  According to the Institute of Clean Air Companies, the 
proenvironmental trade association comprising nearly 100 suppliers of 
air pollution equipment, Utility MACT makes it ``nearly impossible to 
construct new coal-fired units because financing of such units requires 
guarantees from equipment suppliers that all emission limits can be 
  There has to be a better approach. S.J. Res. 37, which would force a 
rewrite of Utility MACT, is the only solution to address the rule's 
problems. It is time to rewrite Utility MACT in a manner that better 
balances economic growth with environmental protection.
  I hope today we will have a majority of our colleagues here in the 
Senate who will support S.J. Res. 37. Doing so will send a strong 
message to the Obama administration that the Senate will not stand by 
and watch his regulatory agenda further hurt small businesses and 
middle-class families, making it more expensive and more difficult for 
businesses in this country to create jobs. That is the end result of 
this regulation. It is the end result of many of the energy policies 
and regulations coming out of this administration. That has to stop. We 
have to get Americans back to work. We have to get our economy growing 
  Madam President, I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, I yield 5 minutes to the Senator from 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Tennessee.
  Mr. ALEXANDER. Madam President, I thank the Senator from California, 
and the Senator from Maryland especially for his courtesy.
  I would agree the EPA has become a happy hunting ground for goofy 
regulations. But as the late William F. Buckley once said, even a 
stopped clock is right twice a day. And on this rule--this clean air 
rule and the earlier interstate rule--I believe EPA is right.
  The effect of upholding this rule will be to finally require that 
most coal plants everywhere in America will have to install two kinds 
of pollution control equipment: scrubbers and SCRs. This will basically 
finish the job of capturing sulfur and nitrogen oxides, fine particles, 
and the 187 toxic pollutants that were specifically identified by 
Congress in the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.
  The Tennessee Valley Authority has already committed to install this 
equipment by 2018. But TVA alone can't clean up Tennessee's air, 
because dirty air blows in from other States. So let me say what 
upholding this rule will do for the people of Tennessee.
  First, it will hasten the day when Memphis, Chattanooga, and 
Knoxville are not three of the top five worst asthma cities--which they 
are today--and Nashville is not competing to be in the top 10.
  Madam President, I ask unanimous consent to have printed in the 
Record at the conclusion of my remarks an article which appeared in the 
Tennessean this week by Dr. William Lawson of Vanderbilt University, 
who treats patients with respiratory diseases in Nashville.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  (See exhibit 1.)
  Mr. ALEXANDER. In the article Dr. Lawson says:

       Pollution from these power plants means my patients suffer 
     more. Pollution increases their chances of being 
     hospitalized. Some of these toxic emissions even cause cancer 
     and can interfere with our children's neurological 

[[Page S4319]]

  Secondly, upholding this rule means that visitors will soon not even 
think of calling the Great Smoky Mountains the Great Smoggy Mountains 
because it is one of the most polluted national parks in America. We 
want those 9 million visitors to keep coming every year with their 
dollars and their jobs.
  Instead of seeing 24 miles on a bad air day from Clingman's Dome, our 
highest peak, this rule should mean we will gradually move toward 
seeing 100 miles from Clingman's Dome as the air cleans up and we look 
through the natural blue haze.
  Third, this rule should mean fewer health advisory warnings for our 
streams that say ``don't eat the fish because of mercury 
contamination.'' Half of the manmade mercury in the United States comes 
from coal plants, and as much as 70 percent of the mercury pollution in 
our local environment, such as streams and rivers, can come from nearby 
coal plants.
  Fourth, we have seen that had Nissan been unable to get an air 
quality permit in Nashville in 1980, it would have gone to Georgia. And 
if Senator Corker had not, as mayor of Chattanooga, improved the air 
quality in that city in the mid 2000s, the Volkswagen site there would 
be a vacant lot today.
  We know every Tennessee metropolitan area is struggling to stay 
within legal clean air standards and we don't want the Memphis megasite 
to stay a vacant lot because dirty air blowing in from Mississippi and 
Arkansas makes the Memphis air too dirty for new industry to locate 
  We know these rules will add a few dollars to our electric bills, but 
in our case, most of that is going to happen anyway because the 
Tennessee Valley Authority has already agreed to put this pollution 
control equipment on its coal-fired powerplants. We know we can reduce 
the effect of these expenses on monthly electric bills because States 
may give utilities a fourth year to comply with the rule, and the 
President may, under the law, give them a fifth and sixth year. And 
Senator Pryor and I intend to ask the President to give that fifth and 
sixth year to reduce costs on electric bills.
  We know long term this rule will secure a place in America's clean 
energy future for clean coal. For example, the largest public utility, 
TVA, the largest private utility, Southern Company, both plan to put 
pollution control equipment on their coal plants and to make at least 
one-third of their electricity from coal over the long term.
  In 1990--22 years ago--Congress told the EPA to make this rule when 
it passed the Clean Air Act amendments. In 2008, the Court told the EPA 
to make this rule.
  Over the years, I have learned that cleaner air not only means better 
health, but also means better jobs for Tennesseans, and I am proud to 
stand up on behalf of the people of Tennessee to uphold this clean air 

                               Exhibit 1

                  [From the Tennessean, June 18, 2012]

                    Air Rule Will Literally Save Us

                       (By William Lawson, M.D.)

       Power plant pollution makes people sick and can cut lives 
     short. That is why cleaning up coal-fired power plants is a 
     long overdue, lifesaving necessity that thankfully Sen. Lamar 
     Alexander has embraced to secure both a healthy and sound 
     economic future for our state.
       I treat patients with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary 
     disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and other lung 
     diseases in those whose lungs are especially vulnerable to 
     the power-plant emissions. But they are not the only ones at 
     risk. My children and yours also are highly susceptible to 
     the long-term repercussions of having to breathe dirty air 
     growing up, which science tells us can prevent lungs from 
     maturing properly. We desperately need Sen. Alexander and 
     Sen. Bob Corker to ensure they receive protection from these 
     toxic pollutants now, not years from now.
       Protecting them is the recently adopted Power Plant Mercury 
     and Air Toxics Standards, as required under the Clean Air 
     Act. Astonishingly, a campaign is under way to block these 
     public-health protections. Until these standards take effect, 
     coal-fired power plants have no national limits on the amount 
     of mercury or acid gases they may pump out of their 
     smokestacks and into the air we breathe. These standards will 
     prevent 370 premature deaths every year just in Tennessee and 
     will provide $3 billion in annual health benefits by 2016.
       TVA is already well on its way to meeting these air 
     standards, but some in the Senate are working to make it 
     easier for corporate polluters to block the rule from ever 
     taking effect.
       Allowing the new emissions standard to move forward will 
     prevent 130,000 asthma attacks and 11,000 premature deaths 
     nationally every year. This reduction in harmful plant 
     emissions will also eliminate 540,000 missed work days on an 
     annual basis, thereby reducing health-care costs and 
     enhancing our overall quality of life.
       Pollution from these power plants means my patients suffer 
     more. Pollution increases their chances of being 
     hospitalized. Some of these toxic emissions even cause cancer 
     and can interfere with our children's neurological 
     development. The public health benefits are just too 
     significant to ignore. Healthy air and good health have a 
     crystal-clear relationship.
       Every day, I see in my patients how avoiding even just one 
     asthma attack, acute respiratory infection or even the 
     briefest hospital stay would dramatically enhance their 
     quality of life. A healthier future is ours to have if we 
     stand behind our leaders who are committed to make that 
     tomorrow a reality.

  Mr. ALEXANDER. I thank the Chair, and I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I yield to the Senator from Wyoming, Mr. 
Barrasso, for 9 minutes.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Wyoming.
  Mr. BARRASSO. Madam President, if the Chair would please give me a 
warning when 1 minute remains, I would appreciate that.
  Today I rise in support of the Inhofe Utility MACT resolution. This 
resolution protects communities and jobs in the West, the Midwest, and 
Appalachia, and specifically jobs that depend on coal. These 
communities depend on coal to heat and cool their homes at an 
affordable price, to power the factories where they work, and to 
generate revenue that creates additional jobs.
  We are talking about affordable domestic coal that also pays for the 
mortgages on the family home, the clothes and food for children, and 
the medical care for grandparents. If the Utility MACT rule is allowed 
to proceed, it would mandate that virtually no new coal-fired 
powerplants could be built anymore in the United States, and many still 
in existence would have to shut down. It is painful to think about all 
of the folks who will be out of work, their bills mounting, their 
families losing their homes, and their future looking bleak.
  Amazingly, the EPA does not dispute these outcomes. It does not 
dispute what I am saying. They know exactly what they are doing. Their 
ideology is more important to them than the living and breathing people 
of our coal communities.
  Just ask the EPA Region 1 Administrator Curtis Spaulding, who was 
visiting with a group of students in Connecticut. What he went on to 
talk about was the fact that basically gas plants are the performance 
standards, which means if you want to build a coal plant, you have a 
big problem. He said this was a huge decision, when he was talking 
about these regulations that have come out from Lisa Jackson, the head 
of the EPA.
  He went on to tell this group of students that in West Virginia, 
Pennsylvania, and all those places, you have coal communities that 
depend on coal. And to say we think those communities should go away? 
That is what he said. He said we have to do what the law and policy 
suggested. He said it was painful--it was painful every step of the 
way--but they did it anyway.
  President Obama's heavy-handed EPA admits these communities in West 
Virginia, Pennsylvania, and many other States in the West, Midwest, and 
Appalachia ``will just go away.''
  These are chilling words. The EPA is supposed to be about protecting 
people, protecting their communities, protecting their environment, and 
protecting their health. With the Utility MACT rule, the EPA is doing 
the opposite. They are making communities go away. They are hurting 
communities--communities of families, children, seniors, gone as a 
result of these regulations. How could one justify these actions?
  Well, we are told there are enormous health benefits. They claim 
enormous health benefits to the public by the issuance of this rule. 
First of all, how do you protect something if the community is gone? So 
obviously these folks in West Virginia and Pennsylvania are not the 
beneficiaries of EPA protection.
  Second, the medical benefits of the rule come from reductions in 
particulate matter in areas of the country

[[Page S4320]]

that are currently well within healthy thresholds set by the EPA. I 
will tell you, the EPA is cooking the books.
  No, this rule does very little to protect the public health. In fact, 
it creates a health crisis in this country because of the additional 
unemployment--the unemployment this rule is going to cause in the West, 
the Midwest, and in Appalachia.
  To highlight the point, on Monday of this week a number of us in the 
Senate who are physicians, who are doctors, sent a letter to President 
  I ask unanimous consent to have a copy of this letter printed in the 
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

                                         United States Senate,

                                    Washington, DC, June 18, 2012.
     Hon. Barack Obama,
     President, United States of America,
     The White House.
       Dear President Obama: We are writing to express our concern 
     that the barrage of regulations coming out of the 
     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designed to end coal in 
     American electricity generation will have a devastating 
     effect on the health of American families. Just before you 
     made the decision to withdraw EPA's plan to revise its ozone 
     standard--a plan which would have destroyed hundreds of 
     thousands of jobs--your former White House Chief of Staff 
     Bill Daley asked the question ``What are the health impacts 
     of unemployment?'' Today, we are requesting that you consider 
     your former aide's question carefully: instead of putting 
     forth rules that create great economic pain which will have a 
     terrible effect on public health, we hope that going forward, 
     you will work with Republicans to craft polices that achieve 
     both environmental protection and economic growth.
       As you know, proponents of your EPA's aggressive agenda 
     claim that regulations that kill jobs and cause electricity 
     prices to skyrocket will somehow be good for the American 
     people. We come to this issue as medical doctors and would 
     like to offer our ``second opinion'': EPA's regulatory regime 
     will devastate communities that rely on affordable energy, 
     children whose parents will lose their jobs, and the poor and 
     elderly on fixed incomes that do not have the funds to pay 
     for higher energy costs. The result for public health will be 
     disastrous in ways not seen since the Great Depression.
       One of the centerpieces of your administration's efforts to 
     stop American coal development is the Utility MACT rule--a 
     rule that has such severe standards it will cause as much as 
     20 percent of the existing coal-fired power plant fleet to 
     retire. Combined with numerous other actions by the 
     Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Interior Department, 
     and Army Corps of Engineers targeting surface coal mining 
     operations, these rules constitute an aggressive regulatory 
     assault on American coal producers, which will hit areas of 
     the heartland--the Midwest, Appalachia, and the Intermountain 
     West--the hardest. The end result will be joblessness across 
     regions of the country whose livelihoods depend on coal 
     development. Joblessness will lead to severe health impacts 
     for communities in these regions.
       With regard to the health benefits that EPA claims for 
     Utility MACT, EPA's own analysis shows us that over 99 
     percent of the benefits from the rule come from reducing fine 
     particulate matter (PM2.5), not air toxics. But 
     EPA also states that ``[over 90 percent] of the 
     PM2.5-related benefits associated with [Utility 
     MACT] occur below the level of the [NAAQS].''
       Not only are PM emissions distinct from mercury and other 
     toxics, but they are also subject to other regulatory 
     regimes. For example, Section 108 of the Clean Air Act 
     directs the EPA to set PM emission levels that are 
     ``requisite to protect the public health''. Thus, EPA is 
     either double-counting the PM benefits already being 
     delivered by existing regulatory regimes, or setting 
     standards beyond those required to protect public health.
       EPA estimates that the cost of the rule will be around $11 
     billion annually, but that it will yield no more than $6 
     million in benefits from reducing mercury and other air 
     toxics. So by the agency's own calculations, Utility MACT 
     completely fails the cost/benefit test.
       When looking at this analysis, the only conclusion is that 
     Utility MACT, as well as the many other EPA rules that cost 
     billions but yield few benefits are not about public health. 
     They are about ending coal development and the good paying 
     jobs it provides.
       We are not the only members in the medical field that are 
     concerned about the effects of a jobless economy on the 
     health and well being of Americans. Dr. Harvey Brenner of 
     Johns Hopkins University testified on June 15th, 2011 before 
     the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee explaining 
     that unemployment is a risk factor for elevated illness and 
     mortality rates. In addition, the National Center for Health 
     Statistics has found that children in poor families are four 
     times as likely to be in bad health as wealthier families.
       Economists have also studied this issue. A May 13th, 2012 
     Op-Ed in the New York Times by economists Dean Baker and 
     Kevin Hasset entitled ``The Human Disaster of Unemployment'' 
     found that children of unemployed parents make 9 percent less 
     than children of employed parents. The same article cites 
     research by economists Daniel Sullivan and Till von Wachter 
     who found that unemployed men face a 25 percent increase in 
     the risk of dying from cancer.
       These are just a few examples of the numerous reports 
     warning of a looming public health crisis due to 
     unemployment. A more thorough evaluation of this problem can 
     be found in a recently released report entitled, ``Red Tape 
     Making Americans Sick--A New Report on the Health Impacts of 
     High Unemployment'' which we are including here for your 
       The EPA should immediately stop pushing expensive 
     regulations that put Americans out of work and into the 
     doctor's office. We respectfully ask that your agencies 
     adequately examine the negative health implications of 
     unemployment into the cost/benefit analysis of the numerous 
     regulations that are stifling job growth, before making 
     health benefit claims to Congress and the public.
       We ask that instead of exacerbating unemployment and 
     harming public health that you work with us in our efforts to 
     implement policies that achieve true health benefits without 
     destroying jobs, and indeed American coal development, in the 
     John Barrasso.
     Rand Paul.
     Tom Coburn.
     John Boozman.

  Mr. BARRASSO. In this letter, we expressed our concerns about the 
impending health crisis the unemployment caused by the EPA's policies 
is having on families, children, pregnant mothers, and on the elderly. 
The letter reads in part:

       We are writing to express our concern that the barrage of 
     regulations coming out of the Environmental Protection Agency 
     (EPA) designed to end coal in American electricity generation 
     will have a devastating effect on the health of American 
     families. Just before you made the decision to withdraw EPA's 
     plan to revise its ozone standard--a plan which would have 
     destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs--your former White 
     House Chief of Staff Bill Daley asked the question ``What are 
     the health impacts of unemployment?'' Today, we are 
     requesting that you consider your former aide's question 
     carefully: instead of putting forth rules that create great 
     economic pain which will have a terrible effect on public 
     health, we hope that going forward, you will work with 
     Republicans to craft policies that achieve both environmental 
     protection and economic growth.

  And that is the key--``and economic growth''--not economic 
  The letter goes on:

       As you know, proponents of your EPA's aggressive agenda 
     claim that regulations that kill jobs and cause electricity 
     prices to skyrocket will somehow be good for the American 
     people. We come to this issue as medical doctors and would 
     like to offer our ``second opinion'': EPA's regulatory regime 
     will devastate communities that rely on affordable energy, 
     children whose parents will lose their jobs, and the poor and 
     elderly on fixed incomes that do not have the funds to pay 
     for higher energy costs. The result for public health will be 
     disastrous in ways not seen since the Great Depression.

  Later on in the letter we talk about the latest research on the 
health impacts of unemployment. A doctor from Johns Hopkins who 
testified last year before the Senate Environment and Public Health 
Committee explained that unemployment is a risk factor--a risk factor--
for elevated illness and mortality rates. In addition, the National 
Center for Health Statistics has found that children in poor families 
are four times as likely to be in bad health as other families.
  Economists have also studied this issue. On May 13, 2012, in the New 
York Times, is ``The Human Disaster Of Unemployment.'' That is what 
this EPA regulation is going to do today, cause additional human 
disaster for people out of work.
  We included for the President a copy of a report I have written 
called ``Red Tape Making Americans Sick--A New Report on the Health 
Impacts of High Unemployment.'' Studies show EPA rules cost Americans 
their jobs and their health. This report contains the latest research 
from medical professionals from Johns Hopkins, from Yale, and others 
that show that unemployment causes serious health impacts.
  Unemployment has been rampant in this country under this 
administration, and it has been due in many ways to the mountains of 
job-crushing redtape from the EPA and other agencies. The EPA's Utility 
MACT rule will only make things worse for hard-hit areas in the West, 
Midwest, and Appalachia.
  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since 2008 Montana has 
lost 3,200 manufacturing jobs, Missouri 41,000, Ohio 100,000, Michigan 
67,000 jobs

[[Page S4321]]

lost, Pennsylvania 80,000, and West Virginia 7,000. Each one of these 
people who lost their job will be subjected to greater risks of cancer, 
heart attack, stroke, depression. There is a higher incidence, as we 
know, of spousal abuse, substance abuse in these families. As 
demonstrated by the latest research, their children will suffer, too, 
as medical costs pile up, as electricity bills to heat and cool their 
homes skyrocket, and the cost of everyday living continues to go up. 
The Utility MACT will only expose thousands more to these risks.
  The EPA should immediately stop pushing expensive regulations that 
put Americans out of work and into their doctor's office. Instead of 
exacerbating unemployment and harming public health, this 
administration and this EPA need to work with Republicans--work 
together in our efforts to implement policies that achieve true health 
benefits without destroying jobs and, indeed, American affordable 
energy in the process.
  We need to keep American energy and make American energy as clean as 
we can, as fast as we can, while still keeping good-paying jobs and 
keeping energy prices affordable. This is a recipe for a healthier, 
economically stronger country.
  I urge a ``yes'' vote for the Inhofe Utility MACT amendment.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, I yield myself 1 minute, and I ask 
unanimous consent to have printed in the Record the following--an 
editorial written by the very type of companies my friend Senator 
Barrasso mentioned who have said they are just fine with the EPA's new 
air quality regulations. Do you know why? Half of the coal-fired 
utilities have already made these adjustments. They are clean. And if 
it is up to Senator Barrasso, the other dirty plants will keep on 
spewing forth the most toxic and dangerous pollutants.
  The other is a new poll taken in March of this year which shows that 
78 percent of likely voters have asked us to get out of the way and let 
the EPA do its job in controlling industrial and power-sector mercury 
and toxic air pollution.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

              (From the Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 2010]

          We're OK With the EPA's New Air-Quality Regulations

       Your editorial ``The EPA Permitorium'' (Nov. 22) 
     mischaracterized the EPA's air-quality regulations. These are 
     required under the Clean Air Act, which a bipartisan Congress 
     and a Republican president amended in 1990, and many are in 
     response to court orders requiring the EPA to fix regulations 
     that courts ruled invalid.
       The electric sector has known that these rules were coming. 
     Many companies, including ours, have already invested in 
     modern air-pollution control technologies and cleaner and 
     more efficient power plants. For over a decade, companies 
     have recognized that the industry would need to install 
     controls to comply with the act's air toxicity requirements, 
     and the technology exists to cost efficiently control such 
     emissions, including mercury and acid gases. The EPA is now 
     under a court deadline to finalize that rule before the end 
     of 2011 because of the previous delays.
       To suggest that plants are retiring because of the EPA's 
     regulations fails to recognize that lower power prices and 
     depressed demand are the primary retirement drivers. The 
     units retiring are generally small, old nd inefficient. These 
     retirements are long overdue.
       Contrary to the claims that the EPA's agenda will have 
     negative economic consequences, our companies' experience 
     complying with air quality regulations demonstrates that 
     regulations can yield important economic benefits, including 
     job creation, while maintaining reliability.
       The time to make greater use of existing modern units and 
     to further modernize our nation's generating fleet is now. 
     Our companies are committed to ensuring the EPA develops and 
     implements the regulations consistent with the act's 
         Peter Darbee, chairman, president and CEO, PG&E Corp.; 
           Jack Fusco, president and CEO, Calpine Corp.; Lewis 
           Hay, chairman and CEO, NextEra Energy, Inc.; Ralph 
           Izzo, chairman, president and CEO, Public Service 
           Enterprise Group Inc.; Thomas King, president, National 
           Grid USA; John Rowe, chairman and CEO, Exelon Corp.; 
           Mayo Shattuck, chairman, president and CEO, 
           Constellation Energy Group; Larry Weis, general 
           manager, Austin Energy.

          (From the American Lung Association, Mar. 21, 2012]

 New Poll Shows the Public Wants EPA To Do More To Reduce Air Pollution

 Voters Support Setting Stronger Carbon Pollution Standards to Protect 
                             Public Health

       Washington, DC.--As big polluters and their allies in 
     Congress continue attacks on the Clean Air Act, the American 
     Lung Association released a new bipartisan survey examining 
     public views of the Clean Air Act and the U.S. Environmental 
     Protection Agency's (EPA) efforts to update and enforce 
     lifesaving clean air standards, including carbon and mercury 
     emissions from power plants.
       The bipartisan survey, conducted by Democratic Research 
     polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican 
     firm Perception Insight, finds that nearly three-quarters of 
     likely voters (73 percent) nationwide support the view that 
     it is possible to protect public health through stronger air 
     quality standards while achieving a healthy economy, over the 
     notion that we must choose between public health or a strong 
     economy. This overwhelming support includes 78 percent of 
     independents, 60 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of 
     conservatives, as well as significant support in Maine, 
     Pennsylvania and Ohio.
       The Obama Administration will soon release updated clean 
     air standards for carbon pollution emitted by power plants, 
     and a substantial majority of voters support the EPA 
     implementing these standards, even after hearing opposing 
     arguments that stricter standards will damage the economic 
     recovery. Initially, 72 percent of voters nationwide support 
     the new protections on carbon emissions from power plants, 
     including overwhelming majorities of both Democrats and 
     Independents and a majority of Republicans.
       After listening to a balanced debate with message both for 
     and against setting new carbon standards, support still 
     remained robust with a near 2-to-1 margin (63 percent in 
     favor and 33 percent opposed). Support remained especially 
     robust in Maine and Pennsylvania (64 percent in each state). 
     The majority of Ohio voters (52 percent) also favored new 
     carbon standards, which is notable since the poll was 
     conducted during a period of heavy media attention concerning 
     statewide electricity rate increases and potential power 
     plant shutdowns.
       ``This bipartisan poll affirms that clean air protections 
     have broad support across the political spectrum,'' said 
     Peter Iwanowicz, Assistant Vice President, National Policy 
     and Advocacy with the American Lung Association. ``Big 
     polluters and their allies in Congress cannot ignore the 
     facts; more air pollution means more childhood asthma 
     attacks, more illness and more people dying prematurely. It's 
     time polluters and their Congressional allies drop their 
     attempts to weaken, block or delay clean air protections and 
     listen to the public who overwhelmingly wants the EPA to do 
     more to protect the air we breathe.''
       Voters also voiced strong support for stricter standards to 
     control industrial and power sector mercury and toxic air 
     pollution. When asked about setting stricter limits on the 
     amount of mercury that power plants and other facilities 
     emit, 78 percent of likely voters were in favor of the EPA 
     updating these standards.
       Strong support was also seen for stricter standards on 
     industrial boilers. Initially, 69 percent of voters supported 
     the EPA implementing stricter standards on boiler emissions. 
     After hearing messaging from both sides of the issue, voters 
     continued to support these standards by nearly a 20-point 
     margin (56 percent favor, 37 percent oppose).
       Key poll findings include: nearly three quarters (73 
     percent) of voters, say that we do not have to choose between 
     air quality and a strong economy--we can achieve both; a 2-
     to-1 majority (60 to 31 percent) believe that strengthening 
     safeguards against pollution will create, rather than 
     destroy, jobs by encouraging innovation; about two-thirds of 
     voters (66 percent) favor EPA updating air pollution 
     standards by setting stricter limits; 72 percent of voters 
     support new standards for carbon pollution from power plants 
     and support is strong (63 percent) after hearing arguments 
     from both sides of the issue; 60 percent of voters support 
     stricter standards for gasoline and limits on the amount of 
     tailpipe emissions from cars and SUVs (particular strong 
     given all the recent attention to high gasoline prices).
       Despite more than a year's worth of continued attacks on 
     clean air protections from big corporate polluters and their 
     allies in Congress, voters across the political spectrum view 
     the Clean Air Act very positively; with a 2-to-1 favorable to 
     unfavorable ratio. At the same time, feelings toward Congress 
     continue to drop, especially among Democrats and 
     independents. Just 18 percent of voters nationally give 
     Congress a favorable rating, while 56 percent rate Congress 
     unfavorable. The unfavorable rating of Congress is up 9 
     percent since the American Lung Association's last survey 
     released in June 2011.
       ``The survey clearly indicates that voters reject the 
     notion that we have to choose between strong safeguards 
     against air pollution and economic growth,'' said Andrew 
     Bauman, Vice President at Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. 
     ``In fact, voters overwhelmingly believe that stronger 
     safeguards against air pollution will create jobs in 

[[Page S4322]]

       ``The poll does show there is broad support across partisan 
     lines for new carbon regulations on power plants,'' said Marc 
     DelSignore, President of Perception Insight. ``However, there 
     is a significant difference in the views regarding the impact 
     regulations may have on the economy, with Republicans 
     expressing higher concern for possible job loss and rising 
     energy prices than Democrats or independents.''

  This resolution of disapproval goes against 78 percent of the 
American people. They are no fools. I heard a second opinion? I have 
got a third opinion, and my third opinion is that if you look at this 
poll, you understand that the American people get it. They know the 
technology exists, and they know these improvements can be made. They 
know there are jobs created when best-available control technology is 
put in, and they are opposed to this kind of resolution that would roll 
back the clock and continue our people breathing in toxins.
  Mr. INHOFE. Will the Senator yield?
  Mrs. BOXER. I won't yield because Senator Cardin is waiting. I yield 
to Senator Cardin 6 minutes, and then I will yield to the Senator on 
his time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Maryland.
  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, first I want to thank Senator Boxer for 
her extraordinary leadership on these issues.
  I invite my friend from Wyoming to come to Glen Burnie, MD, and see 
the 12,000 megawatt Brandon Shores powerplant which it is not only 
operating, but it is in full compliance with Maryland's healthy air law 
that is very similar to the proposed regulations we are debating today. 
That powerplant didn't close. It made the investments so that we have a 
clean energy source and in the process created 2,000 jobs in 
modernizing that powerplant.
  That is why we have many companies that support the regulation, 
because they know it is going to mean more jobs--including Ceres and 
American Boiler Manufacturers Association, as well as companies such as 
WL Gore.
  I want to thank Senator Rockefeller for his extraordinary statement. 
I was on the floor listening to him speaking on behalf of the people of 
West Virginia. They are interested in a clean economy, good health, and 
  I want to thank Senator Alexander for speaking up for the people of 
Tennessee, because he understands the importance of sensible air 
quality standards.
  I want to speak on behalf of the people of Maryland, on behalf of the 
families I have the honor of representing in the Senate.
  This is the week that summer camps start. Some parents are going to 
have to make a decision, when we have a day that is rated as a code 
orange or a code red because of air quality issues concerning ground-
level ozone, as to whether they are going to send their child to camp 
that day if that child has a respiratory issue, an asthma issue, as to 
whether that child should be outdoors during that day when we have 
these air quality warnings. If the parent decides to keep the child at 
home, they have lost that day of camp and the cost of that day of camp. 
They have lost a day of work, because somebody is going to have to stay 
at home with the child. If they send the child to camp and they have an 
episode, they may be one of the over 12,000 children who will end up in 
emergency rooms as a result of dirty air that could be cleaned up by 
the passage and enactment of these regulations.
  The chairman of the Environment and Public Works committee can tell 
us chapter and verse about the number of premature deaths and those 
with chronic bronchitis. These toxins that are going into our air cause 
cancers and neurological developmental and reproductive problems. It is 
particularly dangerous for children. And the source? Powerplants that 
have not put in the investment for clean air.
  This is doable. It has been done in Maryland and in many powerplants 
around the Nation. In fact, my State--concerned about our children, 
concerned about our health--passed the Maryland Healthy Air Act, and 
the mercury standards in that legislation are very similar to what 
these regulations would require. Maryland has reduced its mercury and 
its SOX and NOX emissions from the 22-percent 
level, 90 percent mercury, 80 percent sulfur dioxide, and 70 percent 
NOX. And it helped our economy, as I have already pointed 
out, in the Brandon Shores work that was done.
  But here is the challenge we have in Maryland. Maryland's experience 
shows that an aggressive timeline is not only achievable but it is also 
desirable. Powerplants are capable of meeting aggressive timelines, and 
the benefits are unparalleled. Air pollution control protects public 
health and saves billions of dollars associated with medical costs. The 
Environmental Protection Agency is required to do a study of cost 
benefit: How much cost for how much benefit? For every $1 of compliance 
cost, we save $3 to $9 for our economy. That is a great investment. We 
like those types of investments.
  The Maryland experience also shows that we need a national standard 
to effectively address air pollution. Maryland has done what is right, 
but our children are still at risk. Why? Because air pollution knows no 
State boundary. We are downwind. We have done what is right, but our 
children are still at risk. That is why we need these standards. We 
showed that you can do it in a cost-effective way, creating jobs for 
our community. You can have a clean environment, you can have a growing 
economy. In fact, you can't do it without it. And that is what these 
regulations are about.
  As Senator Alexander said, we have been waiting 20 years for these 
regulations. In 1990, Congress passed the Clean Air Act. In 2008, our 
courts said we can't delay it any longer.
  It is our responsibility to protect the public health. It is our 
responsibility to do what is right. I urge my colleagues to reject this 
resolution that would deny us the opportunity of protecting our public 
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I heard the Senator from California talk 
about 78 percent of the people in this country want to reduce mercury. 
I am part of that 78 percent. The problem is this bill does not address 
that. By their own numbers, the EPA said the cost is around $10 
billion. Of that, less than $6 million would be addressing mercury. The 
rest of that is in particulate matter, something already recognized 
under the Clean Air Act.
  I yield to the junior Senator from West Virginia for 6 minutes.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from West Virginia.
  Mr. MANCHIN. Madam President, I rise today to speak in favor of the 
congressional resolution of disapproval that Senator Inhofe has filed 
under the Congressional Review Act to stop the EPA from implementing 
one of the most expensive rules in recent memory. I thank my colleague, 
Senator Inhofe, for introducing this important resolution to send a 
message to the EPA.
  I would like to say a few words about the little State of West 
Virginia that does the heavy lifting that helps this entire Nation. We 
mine the coal, we make the steel, we have done just about everything we 
possibly can. We probably have more people serving in the military, 
percentage-wise, than any other State. We have given our all for this 
great country, and we will continue to do the heavy lifting. But what 
we have to do is make sure the EPA, make sure this government is 
working with us, not against us. The Government's role is to be a 
partner, not an adversary but an ally. We are asking the government to 
work with businesses, not against them. Their actions will put 
thousands of hard-working Americans out of a job in the worst economy 
in generations.
  Do not raise electricity rates on the consumers who can barely afford 
their monthly bills today as it is. It is mostly our seniors and people 
struggling with their families trying to make a living. The economic 
reality is that the environment and economy have to work hand in hand. 
It has to be in balance.
  From the day I arrived at the Senate, I have been determined to stop 
the EPA's job-killing agenda, and this resolution of disapproval takes 
an important step to rein in this out-of-control agency. In the State 
of West Virginia, like most States, we do our rules and regulations 
through a legislative process. People have to vote. We do not give 
bureaucratic agencies the right to set policy. The people have given us 
that responsibility and right as elected

[[Page S4323]]

leaders to set the policy. That is what we are asking. We have this 
agency stepping way beyond its boundaries, further than our Founding 
Fathers ever intended, that is putting an absolute burden on the backs 
of every American.
  Along with a handful of other rules on the verge of being implemented 
or already in place, the Utility MACT rule would cost the economy over 
$275 billion over the next 25 years, according to the Electric Power 
Research Institute. The Utility MACT could cost 1.3 million jobs over 
the next two decades, according to the National Economic Research 
  On the issue of Utility MACT, I have heard from thousands of West 
Virginians in the past several weeks. In fact, just yesterday I had 45 
of my constituents from Boone County, WV, get on a bus, 756 miles, 
drive all day to get here to be able to speak to some of us, and drive 
last night to go back home. That is how committed and dedicated most of 
them are. They had either worked in the mines or were working in some 
aspect of mining.
  People think mining is just coal mining and coal mining only. It is 
not. The energy business is basically--if people work in a battery 
factory or a machine shop, if they work in any type of ancillary jobs, 
the ripple effect to their economy is unbelievable. If they work in a 
powerplant--these people were scared to death because all they hear 
every day is they are going to lose their jobs because the government 
is going to shut them down and work against them.
  About three-fourths of the miners in that room had already been laid 
off. They are fighting for their jobs. They brought their families and 
children with them. They wanted to make sure we could put the faces of 
real people on what is happening.
  Our coal miners are the salt of the Earth. They work so hard to 
provide energy for our country and provide for their families. They do 
not want a handout. All they want is a work permit. That is all they 
have asked for. Now is not the time to pull the rug out from under them 
and make them worry about how they will pay their bills and feed their 
  I believe this country needs to strike a balance, and I have said 
that before. Our lives are about balance. Every day people get up in 
the morning they look for a balance in their lives. They look for a 
balance in how they can run their business, how they can make a living. 
That is what we need to find in this body today. The EPA has truly gone 
too far.
  We have heard so many different testimonies about that. That is why I 
will be casting my vote in favor of this resolution by Senator Inhofe 
to disapprove of the new rules, and I urge all my colleagues to do the 
same. I truly believe energy is an issue where we can bring thoughtful 
members of both parties together to work out solutions.
  Let me point out an important example. In the time I served, I 
learned that many of my colleagues know of West Virginia only as a coal 
State. They have no idea what we do and how we do it. This past weekend 
I wanted to make sure they understood that not only do we do coal, we 
do wind, we do hydro, we do natural gas with the Marcellus shale--
a tremendous find--we do biomass, we do everything we can, and we think 
every State should be held accountable and responsible to try to be 
energy independent and do it in the most environmentally friendly way.

  This weekend I invited leaders of the Energy Committee, Senators 
Wyden and Murkowski, a Democrat and a Republican, to spend a weekend 
with me to tour our State to see how West Virginia's all-in policy for 
energy works. One of them will likely be the next chair of Energy and 
Natural Resources, but I assure you both of them will work as a team 
trying to find policy that works for this country. You will hear both 
of them say one size doesn't fit all. We need everything. We need a 
comprehensive energy plan for this country--which brings me to our 
recent visit to West Virginia.
  They saw how we are using an ``all-of-the-above'' approach. In the 
eastern part of our State we stopped at Mount Storm. They saw a 265-
megawatt wind farm. They saw a 1,600-megawatt coal-fired plant with the 
most modern technology that cleans the air up to 95 percent. They saw 
it all. When the wind is not blowing, basically they saw there was no 
power generated--especially in the hot summer or the cold winter.
  Basically what we are saying is we are doing everything we possibly 
can. We will continue. In short, we saw a little bit of everything that 
can be done if we work together. I think it should be a bipartisan 
effort to find a solution. We cannot keep fighting each other, and 
agencies cannot keep controlling what we are not legislating. If it has 
not been legislated, it should not be put into law until we are able to 
evaluate it.
  I appreciate what is being done today, the bipartisan effort we are 
talking about. We have our differences, but we can come together.
  I yield the floor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, I think when the Senator talks about 
balance, he ought to recognize that one-half of the coal-fired 
utilities have already made these adjustments, they have reported to 
us, with very little impact to electricity rates.
  I yield 5 minutes to Senator Sanders.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. SANDERS. Madam President, let me begin by saying I suspect that I 
have the strongest lifetime proworker voting record in the Senate. I 
want to create jobs, not cut jobs. What Senator Boxer and Senator 
Cardin and others are talking about is creating meaningful, good-paying 
jobs as we retrofit coal-burning plants so they do not poison the 
children of Vermont and other States around the country.
  So to Senator Inhofe and others, I say respectfully: Stop poisoning 
our children. Let them grow up in a healthy way.
  The Clean Air Act is set to cut mercury pollution by 90 percent using 
technology that is available right now. That would be good news since 
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say mercury can cause 
children to have ``brain damage, mental retardation, blindness, 
seizures, and the inability to speak.''
  We get exposed to mercury simply by eating fish contaminated with it, 
and we have seen fish advisories in 48 out of the 50 States in this 
country. Wouldn't it be nice if the men and women and the kids who go 
fishing could actually eat the fish they catch rather than worry about 
being made sick by those fish?
  Powerplants are responsible for one-third of the mercury deposits in 
the United States, but Senator Inhofe's resolution would let them keep 
right on polluting. His resolution would also eliminate protections 
against cancer-causing pollutants such as arsenic, as well as toxic 
soot that causes asthma attacks. Leading medical organizations, 
including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Lung 
Association, the American Heart Association, and the American Nurses 
Association have said ``Senator Inhofe's resolution would leave 
millions of Americans permanently at risk from toxic air pollution from 
powerplants that directly threaten pulmonary, cardiovascular and 
neurological health and development.''
  That is not Bernie Sanders saying that; it is the American Academy of 
Pediatrics, the American Lung Association, the American Heart 
Association, and the American Nurses Association.
  We are talking about preventing thousands and thousands of premature 
deaths. We are talking about preventing heart attacks. We are talking 
about what is a very serious problem in my State, and that is asthma. 
Maybe Senator Inhofe would like to join me in the State of Vermont--I 
go to a lot of schools and I very often ask the kids and ask the school 
nurses how many kids are suffering with asthma, and many hands go up. 
Thank you very much. We do not want to see more asthma in Vermont or in 
other States that are downwind.
  We hear a lot from some of our Republican friends about jobs. The 
truth is if we are aggressive in cleaning up these coal-powered plants, 
we can create, and we have already seen created, many good, decent-
paying jobs. In fact, if we invest--if the utility industries will 
invest in pollution controls, we can create almost 300,000 jobs a year 
for the next 5 years--meaningful, good-

[[Page S4324]]

paying jobs making sure that our air is cleaner and that our people do 
not get sick.
  Let's talk about job creation and cleaning up our environment. This 
is not just theory. I am the chairman of the Clean Jobs Subcommittee. 
We heard from Constellation Energy, which installed pollution controls 
at their 1280-megawatt coal plant in Maryland that cut mercury 
emissions by 90 percent. This $885 million investment created at its 
peak 1,385 jobs onsite at the plant for boilermakers, steamfitters, 
pipefitters, operating engineers, ironworkers, electricians, 
carpenters, teamsters, laborers--just the kind of jobs we want to 
create. The American people know we have to rebuild our infrastructure. 
We can create jobs doing that. This is one of the areas where we can 
create decent-paying jobs and help keep our kids from getting sick.

  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The time of the Senator has 
  Mr. SANDERS. I urge very strongly a ``no'' vote against the Inhofe 
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I yield 5 minutes to Senator Risch.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Idaho.
  Mr. RISCH. Madam President, I come to the floor this morning to urge 
an affirmative vote for Senator Inhofe's resolution. With all due 
respect to my friend from Vermont, this is not a job-creating bill. 
Virtually everyone who has looked at that has said this will kill jobs; 
this will move jobs overseas. Everyone who has looked at this has said 
it will increase the cost of energy for the American taxpayer.
  It does two things: It kills jobs and it increases the cost of 
energy. Why would anyone vote for this? This is absolute foolishness. 
Today, Americans are concerned about jobs--they are really concerned 
about jobs. Everywhere I go, people ask me about jobs. They ask me 
about the economy.
  Today, we, as Senators, have the opportunity to do something about 
that. The failure of this resolution and the implementation of the rule 
the EPA has put in front of us is going to kill jobs and is going to 
increase the cost of energy in America. It is going to do precisely 
what so many Senators come to the floor and whine about; that is, run 
jobs overseas.
  If you are a job creator, if you are someone thinking of investing, 
if you are someone who wants to move the American economy forward, you 
look at every single aspect of it. When you see something like this--
and it is not just this, it is this and a parade of never-ending rules 
and regulations that kill jobs and increase the costs for the job 
creators--these are things that clearly urge job creators to create 
jobs in a place other than America. That is just flat wrong.
  That is not what I am here today to talk about primarily. What I am 
here today to talk about is the way we are going about it. The Founding 
Fathers did a good job when they set up our government. Indeed, out of 
the thousands of governments that have been created over the years, 
most of which have failed, only one has had the success our Founding 
Fathers had. They created a government out of fear of government. They 
didn't create a government that said: How can we do this? How can we do 
that? They were interested in keeping government away from them, 
keeping government away from their jobs, from their businesses, and 
from their investments. That is what they wanted to do, and it worked 
for about 200 years. For about 200 years the Federal Government left 
the American people and the job creators alone.

  Today, over the last 3\1/2\ decades or so, the Federal Government has 
stuck its nose into every single aspect of our lives, and here we go 
again. What we have here is the Federal Government using its power and 
its regulatory process to get its nose into places where it should not 
be. This is the job of Congress. It is not the job of the bureaucracy 
to pass these kinds of laws. This isn't a rule or a regulation as the 
Founding Fathers anticipated these sorts of things. The Founding 
Fathers set this up with three branches of government to fight with 
each other so they would leave the American people alone. They said the 
job of creating laws, the job of creating regulations, the job of 
creating rules was the job of the Congress.
  Somewhere along the line, we have lost our way. Last year the 
Congress passed about 2,000 pages of legislation, and that included the 
spending bills. Last year the bureaucracy passed about 70,000 pages of 
rules and regulations that have the same force and effect as law.
  The Congress has lost the ability to pass the laws that govern 
conduct in the United States. People will argue, yes, but Congress 
won't do it; Congress won't act. That is precisely the point. We were 
elected by the American people to act or not act as is appropriate. 
When we don't act, when we don't do something, it is just as important 
as when we do something. Indeed, I would argue many times more 
important. Well, what it has come to today is 2,000 pages versus 70,000 
  In Idaho we had the same problem for a lot of years. In Idaho it was 
the same way. The bureaucracy could pass a rule or regulation that had 
the force and effect of law.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. RISCH. We have changed that and gotten it to where the 
legislature has full control. This has to change. Congress has to take 
back its ability to handle the law as it is imposed and the burden that 
is imposed on the American people.
  I yield the floor.
  Mrs. BOXER. I yield 4 minutes to the Senator from Delaware, Senator 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Delaware.
  Mr. CARPER. While our friend from Idaho is trying to leave the Senate 
floor, I want to say that the Congress did act. Harry Truman said the 
only thing that is new in the world is the history we never learned or 
forgot. The Congress did act with a Republican President, a guy named 
George Herbert Walker Bush. It was passed overwhelmingly in the House 
and in the Senate and supported, as I recall, by those of us here on 
the Senate floor today.
  I will go over a little history here. In 1990, the Clean Air Act 
said: Look, there are problems with toxic air emissions. We are not 
sure where they are coming from, but let's spend a little bit of time 
and have the EPA figure it out. They spent 10 years trying to figure it 
out. In the last year of the Clinton administration, the conclusion was 
reached that a lot of the toxic air emissions such as mercury, arsenic, 
heavy metals, acid gases, come from utilities. A lot comes from 
  In 2001, the brandnew Bush administration said: Well, let's go to 
work and figure out what to do about it. Five years later in 2005, the 
Bush administration said: Here is a rule to deal not with the 70 toxic 
emissions but with one, mercury. Just one. Immediately lawsuits were 
filed, and in 2008 the Federal courts said: What about the other 70 
toxins? They didn't do anything about the other 70 toxins. What they 
did with mercury was a cap-and-trade system which doesn't work for 
mercury. The courts remanded it to the EPA and said: Let's try that 
  Senator Alexander has been heroic on these issues. And while I have 
worked literally for years to try to make sure the Congress provided 
some leadership--we do see toxic air emissions from sulfur dioxide and 
nitrous oxide as well--there is not an appetite with the utilities to 
actually support legislation.
  We finally gave it a great try in 2010. My friend Senator Inhofe was 
part of the effort to get legislation enacted. Finally, I think the 
utilities said we would rather take our chances on an election and see 
what the election yields and see if we have to deal with the EPA. Well, 
we had an election and now the courts are saying: EPA, you have to 
rule. You have to provide leadership, and the EPA has done that. It is 
not as if they are jamming it down anybody's throat.
  Senator Alexander and I offered legislation that said by 2015 there 
has to be a 90-percent reduction in mercury. What the EPA has said is 
by 2015, there has to be a 90-percent reduction plus they need to 
address a bunch of other toxic emissions. The EPA said the States can 
give an automatic 1-year extension. If utilities have problems with 
getting this done by 2016, they can apply for another 2-year extension. 
This started in 1990. It is 2012. When we play out the string, it could 
be as late as 2018 to comply.

[[Page S4325]]

  In the meantime, States including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, 
New Jersey, and a bunch of us on the east coast, are downwind of all 
the States that put up the pollution in the air. We have to breathe it.
  Look, the technology exists to fix this problem. Fifty percent of the 
utilities have already applied the technology. It works. It is broadly 
deployed. Most utilities have the money to pay for this. If they don't, 
they have the ability to raise capital.
  There are tens of thousands of workers who wish to do this work. The 
idea that we have to choose between a stronger economy and a cleaner 
environment is a false choice. It has always been a false choice, and 
it is a false choice here today.
  I am a native of West Virginia. After my dad finished high school, he 
was a coal miner for a short time, so I have relatives back in West 
Virginia. I care a lot about the State and the people who live there. I 
want to make sure we do whatever is fair to them. I want to thank Jay 
Rockefeller for stepping up for West Virginia and being a hero here 
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I wish to yield 5 minutes to the Senator 
from Missouri, Mr. Blunt.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Missouri.
  Mr. BLUNT. Madam President, I thank the Senator for this time. I rise 
in support of this resolution. We have only been able to use the 
Congressional Review Act successfully one time, and I think that means 
at some point we need to look at the Congressional Review Act because 
these regulations often don't meet the commonsense standard, and this 
is one of them. However, it appears to meet the standards that the 
President would want his regulators to meet.
  In fact, in January of 2008, the President--while running for 
President--said that coal-fired plants would go bankrupt. He said later 
in the campaign that electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket 
under his plan to tax greenhouse gas emissions through what was then 
the cap-and-trade system. The House passed that system in 2009.
  Missouri utilities all went together, including the rural electric 
cooperatives, the for-profit utilities, and the municipal utilities and 
paid for a study in our State, which is in the top six States of 
dependence on coal. That study indicated that the average utility bill 
would go up 82 percent in the first 10 years and double shortly after 
that. You don't have to be a genius to get your utility bill out and 
multiply it by two. If it is your utility bill at home, it may be a 
utility bill you cannot pay. If it is your utility bill at work, it may 
mean that your job is no longer there because the utility bill went up. 
That House-passed bill would have had that result in our State. There 
are five States that are more dependent on coal than we are for 
  The Senate then rejected the cap-and-trade bill, and thank goodness 
it did. But when it did, the President said there are other ways of 
``skinning the cat.'' He said there are other ways besides just an 
``all-of-the-above'' energy policy. His administration has bypassed the 
Congress, bypassed the will of the American people, and they are 
clearly trying to do by regulation what I believe the Congress would 
now never do. Once the American people figured out that cap-and-trade 
and policies such as this would have this devastating impact on their 
utility bill--about 50 percent of all of the utilities from the middle 
of Pennsylvania to the western edge of Wyoming are coal-generated 
utilities. Once people figured that out and the impact it had on their 
ability to have a job and their ability to do what they need to do at 
their house, they didn't want to do it.
  With this rule the EPA has finalized a regulation that would require 
power companies to reduce emissions in a period that is unrealistically 
short. A 3-year timeframe means that many power-generated facilities 
don't reduce emissions, they close the plant. What this stands for is 
an assault on coal and coal-based utilities. The Administrator of the 
EPA, Lisa Jackson, said recently that the current challenges for the 
coal industry are ``entirely economic.'' That is what she said, 
``entirely economic.'' I don't know how anyone who is paying attention 
to the EPA, to regulations, or to the price of coal, could say that the 
problems are entirely economic. They are not economic at all. We have 
more recoverable coal than anybody in the world. We now think we have 
more recoverable natural gas than anybody in the world.
  By 2016, under the current EPA rules that are out there, plus this 
one, our utilities in our State would go up as much as 23 percent for 
the average Missourian, and more than that for some people in parts of 
our State. That is a 23-percent increase on your utility bill by 2016.
  The estimates are that by 2020, we will lose 76,000 jobs because of 
that increase in utility rates. Where are those jobs going to go? They 
are not going to go to California or Massachusetts or somebody who has 
bills higher than ours today. They are going to go to places that care 
a lot less about what comes out of the smokestack than we do.
  Last year in States where coal generated at least 60 percent of the 
electricity, consumers paid 30 percent less in energy prices than 
States that used less coal for their electricity. And in our State, as 
I said, 82 percent of our electricity comes from coal.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator's time has expired.
  Mr. BLUNT. I urge my colleagues to vote for the issue before us that 
says we don't want to have this rule. We want to do the right thing, 
not the wrong thing.
  I thank the Senator for this time.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, the Senate will vote today on whether to 
proceed to a congressional resolution of disapproval that I strongly 
oppose. This resolution would repeal the Environmental Protection 
Agency's mercury and air toxics standards rule and undo the great 
strides the Agency has taken to safeguard the public's health and 
welfare and our quality of life in this great land.
  The EPA's mercury and air toxics standards represent a true 
breakthrough in environmental policy. This rule offers clear benefits 
to every American, and it is especially important to Vermonters, who 
disproportionally suffer from the devastating effects of mercury and 
other toxic air pollutants. Although my home State has no major sources 
of mercury, Vermonters have been besieged by this insidious poison, 
which drifts across our borders from other States.
  The EPA estimates that each year, toxic air pollutants cause up to 
11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 cases of 
childhood asthma, among other illnesses. Mercury, a truly unwelcome 
addition to our daily lives, has had catastrophic effects on the health 
and well-being of all Americans, as well as a ruinous impact on our 
Nation's pristine natural environment. There is no known safe level of 
exposure to mercury it is harmful to humans in even the smallest 
amounts. Tragically, mercury's most devastating effect is on those 
victims least able to protect themselves: unborn and newborn children. 
Mercury has been shown to cause developmental disabilities and brain 
damage, resulting in lowered IQ's and learning problems, such as 
attention deficit disorder. Sadly, these affects are permanent and 
irreversible. They lead to a lifetime of trips to the emergency room, 
costly medical interventions, personal and family heartbreak, and lost 
  The American people want their air and water to be cleaner and 
healthier and most certainly free of toxic pollutants. Vermonters and 
Americans want this for all of us. Safe water and safe air to breathe 
should be a valued legacy of our lives in this blessed Nation. We also 
know that protecting the weakest and most vulnerable members of our 
society is among Congress's most solemn duties. This resolution of 
disapproval undermines that goal. Why should one more child struggle to 
breathe and gasp for air when such suffering is preventable? Why should 
one more parent die a premature death? Congress should not meddle in 
this vitally important issue literally, for many, an issue of life or 
death or chronic illness. If the EPA's mercury and air toxics standards 
are repealed, the simple reality is that it will be somebody's loved 
one who pays the price, and the price they pay may be irreversible.

[[Page S4326]]

  During the Bush administration, I offered my own Congressional Review 
Act joint resolution of disapproval, known as the Leahy-Collins 
resolution, to contest an EPA mercury rule that was far too weak and 
failed to protect the American people. It is hard to believe that now, 
almost 7 years later, this issue is still unresolved and we are 
fighting to save an EPA rule that is fair, just, science-based, and 
reasonable. A sound environmental policy that protects our citizens 
from the hazards of mercury and air toxics is long overdue.
  In addition to the numerous health benefits that removing these 
toxics would mean for our citizens, both young and old, the EPA's 
mercury and air toxics standards would protect America's precious 
waterways, making them accessible to the sport fishermen of today and 
for countless generations to come. Today, large game fish from every 
body of water in Vermont, including our State's greatest lake, Lake 
Champlain, are so heavily contaminated with out-of-State mercury that 
people must be warned against eating them. In fact, all 50 States have 
issued fish consumption advisories, warning citizens to limit how often 
they eat certain types of fish because they are contaminated with 
mercury. Let me repeat that. Because of mercury contamination, every 
State of our great Nation today warns its citizens to limit how often 
they should consume certain kinds of fish. We can change that. We 
should change that. We must change that. Environmental standards can 
and have made tremendous differences in our lifetimes in virtually 
eliminating such toxics as the fumes from the burning of leaded 
gasoline, which only recently was ubiquitous on our streets and around 
our homes. We must do the same to begin ridding poisonous mercury from 
our air and water.
  Without these standards, powerplants will continue to spew tons of 
mercury and other toxic air pollutants into the air. Without these 
standards, this preventable, slow-motion tragedy will continue to 
unfold despite the fact that the pollution control technology mandated 
by this rule is already widely available, affordable, and in use in 
many coal-fired powerplants throughout the Nation. Thirty-three percent 
of older powerplants have already installed lifesaving technology which 
allows them to comply with the EPA's emission limits, and a full 60 
percent already comply with the EPA's mercury limit. This resolution of 
disapproval would be especially ill-advised because it would unjustly 
punish companies that have taken steps to do the right thing, while 
rewarding those that have shirked their responsibilities, endangered 
countless lives, and imperiled the environment.
  As another great benefit to the American people, industry-wide 
adoption of innovative pollution control technology would stimulate 
investment in the economy, job creation and greater productivity. The 
updated standards will create thousands of long-term jobs for American 
workers. These workers will be hired to build, install, and, 
ultimately, operate the machinery that will reduce health-threatening 
emissions. The EPA estimates that implementing this rule will mean jobs 
for tens of thousands of hard-working Americans, including 46,000 
construction jobs and 8,000 long-term utility jobs. When added onto the 
health benefits, these standards will have an annual estimated benefit 
of $37 to $90 billion dollars. Green jobs are not just good for the 
environment in which we live, work, and breathe, they are good for the 
economy and good for America.
  I hope that when Senators consider this resolution of disapproval, 
they remember that its passage would prevent the EPA from issuing any 
standards in the future that were substantially similar to the current 
mercury and air toxics standards. As a result, Americans would continue 
to be put at risk from the debilitating and sometimes deadly effects of 
air pollution pumped into America's air by energy companies and other 
sources. Regrettably, this threat to human health and the environment 
would continue indefinitely because the resolution of disapproval would 
strip the EPA of essential tools to address these hazards.
  The value of these tools is as incalculable as the value of human 
life and the health of our families. Make no mistake about it: 
Investing in the new technology mandated by the EPA's mercury and air 
toxics standards will save countless lives and will improve the quality 
of the environment of our communities for years to come. We owe it to 
ourselves and we owe it to future generations of Americans to make this 
investment now.
  Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, our country's economy and competitiveness 
in global markets depends on access to affordable energy resources, 
including electricity that powers our manufacturing plants and keeps 
businesses operating throughout the Nation. Additionally, affordable 
electricity is vital to the health, safety, productivity, and quality 
of life of American families, as well as keeping their budgets in 
  Generating this vital power, however, has come at a cost to our 
public health and to the environment. Coal- and oil-fired powerplants 
account for about half of the Nation's mercury emissions and more than 
half of the country's acid gases. Powerplants also contribute about 
one-quarter of our Nation's particle pollution. These emissions from 
powerplants can cause damage to brain development, premature death, 
asthma, heart attacks, and other health complications with the heart 
and lungs.
  Under the authority of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, on 
December 21, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, announced 
its final rule to establish technology-based emission limits for 
mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired 
powerplants, which are estimated to number about 1,400 units 
nationwide. About half of the electric generating units affected by 
this rule have already installed equipment to meet these emission 
limits, and many have expended large sums to get there. The other units 
that need to install pollution control equipment within the next 3 to 4 
years could potentially have a competitive market advantage over the 
companies that have installed the technology if we simply override the 
  The emission reductions expected as a result of the rule are 
projected to improve our Nation's air quality, resulting in a reduction 
annually of approximately 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 nonfatal heart 
attacks, 130,000 asthma attacks, 5,700 hospital and emergency room 
visits, 2,800 cases of chronic bronchitis, and 3.2 million restricted 
activity days. The EPA estimates the value of these health benefits is 
between $37 billion and $90 billion annually.
  Additionally, the rule will also prevent mercury from contaminating 
vital water resources. All of the Great Lakes and all of Michigan's 
inland lakes have fish consumption health advisories due to mercury. 
This rule should help clean up these lakes and make fish from any lake 
safer to eat.
  In contrast to the benefits that will be provided by this rule, the 
annual cost of installing and operating the pollution control equipment 
is estimated at about $10 billion annually. These costs are expected to 
translate into higher electricity costs of about $3 to $4 per month, 
although those costs would vary regionally.
  Senator Inhofe's joint resolution of disapproval would completely 
overturn this EPA rule that limits harmful pollutants from powerplants. 
Additionally, under the Congressional Review Act, which is the statute 
that provides the authority for Senator Inhofe to move this measure 
under expedited procedures, this disapproval resolution would also 
prevent the EPA from issuing any regulations that are ``substantially 
the same'' as the disapproved standards. Thus, this prohibition would 
effectively require Congress to pass a law creating a new authorization 
before EPA would be able to do anything about this pollution.
  I support congressional oversight and, in fact, believe Congress 
should exercise more oversight. But this rule protects the health of 
Michigan residents by requiring commercially available technology to be 
installed at powerplants that currently do not have these controls in 
place. The rule will result in significant air quality improvements, 
protecting public health and our lakes from harmful pollution. Its 
payback is significant in health and in economics.
  For these reasons, I will oppose this measure.

[[Page S4327]]

  Mr. KERRY. Madam President, I talked about this phenomenon yesterday 
on the Senate floor, and today we have even more evidence of what I was 
talking about: a reckless assault on our environment given new life by 
the resolution before the Senate today. We are being asked to sacrifice 
the health of men, women, and children, all for the sake of the coal 
industry, a move that makes people sicker, denying Americans their 
right to a healthy environment to live in and raise their children.
  No one who cares about the health of our citizens, the health of our 
economy, and the health of our planet should support this resolution. 
They should be outraged that we are even having this kind of debate. 
The Congressional Review Act resolution before us would eliminate the 
Environmental Protection Agency's mercury and air toxics standards, or 
MATS, for powerplants. Let's be clear what that means. It means the EPA 
would be prevented from adopting meaningful replacement standards to 
protect Americans from mercury and some 80 other toxic air pollutants 
that cause cancer and other health hazards. Let me repeat. These 
pollutants are known to cause cancer and other health hazards.
  The science is unequivocal and has been for years mercury is a known 
neurotoxin that can have a devastating effect on the brain and nervous 
system of a developing child, reducing IQ and impairing the ability to 
  We know the effects of mercury, and we know its source. Coal and oil-
based powerplants constitute the largest manmade source of mercury 
emissions in the United States--they are responsible for half of the 
mercury emissions in America. They also emit more than 75 percent of 
the acid gas emissions and 25 percent of toxic metals lead, arsenic, 
chromium, nickel. We are talking about some really toxic pollution that 
is known or suspected to cause cancer and cardiovascular disease, 
damage to the eyes, skin, and lungs. It can even kill.
  Under EPA's MATS, utilities will be regulated for mercury and these 
other toxics for the first time in our Nation's history. These 
standards are more than a decade overdue, so it is way past time to end 
the free ride the polluters have been enjoying. Now, I understand my 
colleagues are peddling the message that the EPA is waging a ``war on 
coal.'' But they are just trying to distract us from the facts, and the 
fact is the EPA is simply doing its job and following the law. It is no 
more complicated than that. There is no conspiracy and no secret 
agenda. Their job is to protect Americans, and that is exactly what 
they are doing.
  The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate emissions of mercury 
and other hazardous air pollutants. The EPA employs a process that 
requires the use of ``maximum achievable control technology.'' In other 
words, the standards are feasible, they are based on what industry 
leaders are already doing. EPA estimates more than half of coal-fired 
units have equipment installed that can help meet the standards. 
Roughly 55 percent of our electricity is from nuclear, natural gas, and 
renewable energy sources, and they are not subject to the rule's 
provisions. And for those that need more time to comply, EPA allows 
them up to 4 years. It is beyond reasonable.
  And this is hardly a ``war on coal.''
  MATS will reduce mercury emissions from powerplants by more than 90 
percent, acid gases by 88 percent, and reduce emissions of more than 80 
air toxics. It will also significantly reduce particulate matter, or 
PM, emissions that can trigger asthma attacks and damage the lungs. In 
fact, the combined health benefits are staggering. Beginning in 2016, 
EPA estimates that the standard would prevent each year 11,000 
premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, 130,000 asthma attacks, 5,700 
hospital and ER visits, and 540,000 missed work and school days.
  Let me bring these numbers a little closer to home. EPA estimates 
MATS would prevent 130 premature deaths each year and up to $1.1 
billion in health benefits in 2016.
  In total, annual estimated benefits are $37 to $90 billion compared 
to compliance costs of $9.6 billion. That is an amazing return on 
investment--for every dollar spent, we will realize $3 to $6 in health 
  As a member of the Senate, it is my responsibility to make sure that 
the children of Massachusetts begin life with a fair shot, and it is my 
duty to protect the most susceptible, including the 128,000 kids and 
531,000 adults with asthma in my home State. To put this issue in 
focus, one of my constituents, the mother of an asthmatic girl, has 
said: ``Any person who would say that EPA should be eliminated or its 
ability to regulate reduced should have to sit in the emergency room 
holding the hand of a child who can't breathe.''
  Some Senators argue that the EPA standard is a job killer. Not true. 
The fact is it will create 46,000 short-term construction jobs and 
8,000 long-term jobs in the utility sector to help build, install, and 
then operate emissions control equipment.
  Some Senators say the rule requires too much, too fast. Not true. 
Look, the rule has been more than a decade in the making. Any shrewd 
businessperson would see the writing on the wall and develop their 
business plan accordingly. And many utility companies already have 
acted accordingly.
  Some Senators say it costs too much to comply and will shut down 
powerplants, that these rules combined with others will threaten the 
reliability of the energy grid and dramatically increasing energy costs 
for consumers. Not true. Numerous reports from EPA, DOE, and CRS state 
otherwise. According to CRS, ``almost all of the capacity reductions 
(from the rule) will occur in areas that have substantial reserve 
margins. . . The final rule includes provisions aimed at providing 
additional time for compliance if it is needed to install pollution 
controls or add new capacity to ensure reliability in specific areas. 
As a result, it is unlikely that electric reliability will be harmed by 
the rule.''
  And in terms of the rule's actual impact on the economy, it is likely 
to be extremely limited. The retail price of electricity is on average 
estimated to increase about 3 percent, mainly due to the increase in 
demand for natural gas. This seems a small price to pay for the massive 
health and economic benefits I have already highlighted.
  We should understand that if we pass this CRA today, we are not 
guaranteed a do-over. The CRA explicitly prevents EPA from developing a 
rule to regulate mercury and air toxics from powerplants that is 
``substantially the same'' as the invalidated rule. Translation: It 
would be nearly impossible for EPA to develop another rule to regulate 
these pollutants. Industry would have you believe otherwise so that you 
can vote to pass the CRA with a clear conscience. It is a disingenuous 
effort, and I sincerely hope that my colleagues will see through it.
  Mr. President, it is tragic that polluters want to deny a right as 
basic as clean, healthy air. And it is tragic that anyone, especially a 
member of the Senate, would refuse to protect even children and the 
unborn from poisons. I urge the Senate to turn back this political 
assault on our environment and support standards that will do so much 
good for so many Americans. Anything else would be turning our backs on 
the people we are here to serve.
  Mr. LIEBERMAN. Madam President, I rise today in strong opposition to 
Senator Inhofe's resolution of disapproval concerning the Environmental 
Protection Agency's mercury and air toxics rule. If passed, this 
resolution would have a devastating impact on our decades-long effort 
to clean up the air Americans breathe, and it would betray the 
responsible utility managers who have already taken steps to reduce the 
mercury and air toxics entering our atmosphere.
  As I approach the end of my Senate career, I have spent some time 
reflecting on my past votes and the legacy I hope to leave behind. The 
debate before us today brings me back to my very first years in the 
Senate and an effort that has continued throughout my entire time here.
  In 1990, I was part of the group of members of the Senate EPW 
Committee and the administration of President George H.W. Bush who 
negotiated and passed the Clean Air Act Amendments. At the time, the 
need for this legislation was painfully clear--acid rain was eating 
paint off of cars, and thick, visible smog blanketed too many of our 
cities. Some wanted Congress to turn a blind eye, but we did not. We 
acted, and we acted together.
  During those many weeks, we met daily to reach a bipartisan agreement

[[Page S4328]]

that would put our country on the path to cleaner air. It was the 
leadership of majority leader George Mitchell and President Bush's 
representatives, including Boyden Gray, that led us to a grand bargain. 
Because all of the parties negotiated in good faith toward a common 
goal, the Clean Air Act Amendments were adopted in an October 1990 vote 
by an 89-to-10 margin. Think about that: 89 votes in favor of one of 
the most significant environmental law changes in our history. I regret 
that such a broad bipartisan agreement in support of our environment 
will not be repeated this week.
  Now, in the final year of my Senate career, we are debating a 
resolution that seeks to undo one of the provisions that we worked so 
hard to pass as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments in my first term 
in office--a requirement that EPA issue standards to reduce emissions 
of air toxics from stationary sources. That was 22 years ago, but it 
was only February of this year that EPA finally published the rule that 
would implement these standards. Administrator Lisa Jackson and 
Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy, who served so ably as 
Connecticut's commissioner of the Department of Environmental 
Protection, have brought us a rule that will finally put in place the 
mercury and air toxics restrictions we have been waiting for.
  This resolution would roll back that rule, the first-ever national 
limits on powerplant emissions of air toxics, including mercury. 
Without this rule, powerplant operators can continue pumping dozens of 
tons of mercury and hundreds of thousands of tons of other toxic air 
pollutants into our air each year.
  Many of my colleagues have spoken to the extensive health and 
environmental rationale behind the mercury and air toxics rule, so I 
will just highlight a few of the most startling statistics. One in 
twelve American women of childbearing age has mercury blood levels that 
would put their fetuses at risk for impaired development. These 
developmental impairments are a human tragedy, denying children their 
full intellectual and psychological potential.
  With respect to the environment, just look at Connecticut. We are 
blessed by natural beauty--rolling hills, beautiful beaches, vast 
forests, and flowing streams and rivers. Unfortunately, every single 
body of water--every lake, stream, river, and pond--in the State of 
Connecticut has a mercury advisory in place. Where do we think this 
came from? It was not here before the advent of polluting powerplants 
spewing mercury into the air. We are blessed by plentiful fresh water, 
but that gift has been tainted by the mercury that has been spewed into 
the air over generations. Even in Long Island Sound, one of America's 
greatest estuaries, we are faced with a restriction on which seafood we 
can eat. One of the best fish in the sound--the bluefish--is off limits 
to us because of mercury. Is this the legacy we want to leave our 
  Of course, this debate should not be about which fish we can or 
cannot eat, it should be about following through on a promise we made 
to the American people in 1990, by a margin of 89 to 10, that we would 
move forward on efforts to reduce air toxics being emitted by 
powerplants. If we pass this resolution, we would break that promise.
  Some of my colleagues may claim that the mercury rule is an attack on 
coal. To them I would say: This is nothing of the sort. This rule would 
actually save money and save lives. It would save between $37 billion 
and $90 billion a year in health benefits while creating 54,000 jobs. 
It would prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 cases of 
childhood asthma attacks each year. This is a case of government 
protecting its citizens with a commonsense rule to require widely 
available pollution control systems be installed at our powerplants.
  I want to close by once again urging my colleagues not to break our 
promise we made to the American people in 1990 that the U.S. Government 
would do everything in its power to ensure the American people had 
clean air to breathe and to reduce dangerous pollutants in order to 
give our children the chance to grow up healthy. I urge my colleagues 
to vote no on this resolution.
  Mr. MENENDEZ. Madam President, I rise to ask the Senate to protect 
public health, not polluters, and to protect clean air over corporate 
  Upholding the mercury and air toxics standard means keeping toxic 
mercury, arsenic, lead, and other pollutants out of our lakes and 
streams and out of children's lungs. It will prevent 11,000 premature 
deaths, 5,000 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks in this country 
each year after its implementation.
  For over 20 years polluters have fought these rules and used their 
influence to create delay after delay in administration after 
administration. It is time these rules were finally implemented so we 
can preserve the health of the American people and our Nation's air 
  New Jersey has many residents who are vulnerable to poor air quality. 
According to the American Lung Association, there are over 184,000 
children and 587,000 adults with asthma in New Jersey. It is estimated 
that these new air toxics standards will prevent up to 320 premature 
deaths and create up to $2.6 billion in health benefits in New Jersey 
in 2016 alone. These residents deserve better than to have their health 
subordinated to the financial interests of corporate executives.
  Reducing toxic emissions is welcomed by New Jersey's power providers. 
The Public Service Enterprise Group, PSEG, New Jersey's oldest and 
largest electric utility, operates several of the powerplants that 
would be affected by the mercury and air toxic standards. Because these 
regulations have been in the works for over 20 years, PSEG and other 
power providers have already made investments in anticipation of their 
implementation. To assert that these standards are somehow a surprise 
or could not have been anticipated by electric utilities would be 
grossly inaccurate.
  Mercury is perhaps the most dangerous pollutant targeted by this rule 
and coal-fired powerplants are responsible for half of the mercury 
emissions in the United States.
  Mercury, a dangerous neurotoxin, has been associated with damage to 
the kidneys, liver, brain, and nervous system. It has also been shown 
to cause neurological and developmental problems in children. The 
American Academy of Pediatrics, in detailing the impact of mercury 
exposure on human health, noted,

     mercury in all of its forms is toxic to the fetus and 
     children, and efforts should be made to reduce exposure to 
     the extent possible to pregnant women and children, as well 
     as the general population.

  Elevated levels of mercury exposure have also been shown to put 
adults at increased risk of heart attacks, increased blood pressure, 
and blocked arteries. Rather than cater to polluters, we must heed the 
warnings of doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists--medical 
professionals that have dedicated their lives to preventing and 
treating illness caused by mercury.
  Mercury emissions also act as a pervasive contaminant throughout our 
Nation's watersheds, where the pollutant accumulates in fish, other 
wildlife, and ultimately, in humans. In 2003, Jeff Holmstead, the EPA 
Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation under George W. Bush, 

       Mercury, a potent toxin, can cause permanent damage to the 
     brain and nervous system, particularly in developing fetuses 
     when ingested in sufficient quantities. People are exposed to 
     mercury mainly through eating fish contaminated with 

  In New Jersey, mercury has been a widespread and consistent 
contaminant in freshwater fish collected throughout the State, with 
unsafe concentrations of mercury being found in both urban and rural 
areas. The statistics send a clear message: if we don't act now, we 
risk mass contamination of our Nation's waters and food supply.
  The mercury and air toxics standard will work to curb toxic emissions 
produced from coal powerplants, and to ensure that future emissions 
comply with set national limits. These new standards are expected to 
reduce mercury emissions from coal and powerplants by 90 percent, acid 
gas pollution by 88 percent, and particulate matter emissions by 30 
  Senator Inhofe's proposal, if enacted, would not only void all of the 
health benefits produced by the air toxics standard, but also prevent 
the government from issuing similar standards in the future. In effect, 
this would

[[Page S4329]]

severely curtail the government's ability to address the serious 
hazards posed by pollutant emissions. I believe this would be deeply 
  These national standards are long overdue. In 1990, Congress amended 
the Clean Air Act to require performance-based regulations of air 
pollutants, in an effort to reduce toxic emissions produced from 
industrial sources. That amendment was passed with broad bipartisan 
support, approved by 89 Senators, 401 House members, and signed by a 
Republican president. After two decades, national standards regulating 
powerplant emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants are finally 
in place. How many more children will be poisoned by mercury in their 
bodies, if Congress continues to delay or eliminate safeguards ensuring 
health safety?
  In 1990, Congress recognized the harm posed by these pollutants and 
took appropriate action. Now it is time for us to finally implement 
them and protect the health of all Americans.
  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I rise today as a signer of the discharge 
petition for S.J. Res. 37, the Congressional Review Act resolution of 
disapproval for the Environmental Protection Agency's Utility MACT 
rule. I support this measure with all my heart.
  I urge my colleagues and my fellow citizens who are listening to this 
debate today to recognize that the EPA's Utility MACT rule is not just 
about curtailing mercury emissions from powerplants. At the heart of 
the Utility MACT rule is an effort to shut down our Nation's coal-mines 
and coal-fired powerplants. When President Obama was a United States 
Senator, he was the deciding vote on the Senate Environment and Public 
Works Committee to kill the Clear Skies bill which would have reduced 
mercury emissions in the United States by 70 percent.
  Let's be clear about why the liberals on that committee voted against 
this mercury reduction measure. They did so because they wanted to hold 
that issue aside and use it to help pass a nationwide climate bill, the 
biggest anticoal legislation ever considered by Congress. In other 
words, killing coal mining jobs and shutting down coal-fired 
powerplants took priority over real and significant reductions in 
mercury emissions and any health benefits that would have come with 
those reductions.
  The EPA's Utility MACT rule was carefully written to ensure that most 
of its mercury reductions will come from the forced shutdown of coal 
mines and coal-fired powerplants. It is evident that the rule is not 
written to allow noncompliant powerplants to remain open.
  The fact is that today's vote does not stop the EPA from regulating 
mercury from coal-fired powerplants. But it would strip out the obvious 
anticoal agenda that is the heart and soul of the current Utility MACT 
rule. The costs of this rule outweigh the benefits by 1,600 to 1. If 
ever there were an EPA rule that needed to be sent back to the drawing 
board, this one is it.
  Americans know what is at stake with today's resolution. If the EPA's 
rule is allowed to go forward, it jeopardizes our Nation's most 
affordable, abundant, and dependable domestic source of electricity. We 
hear a lot from the President and his allies about the scourge of 
inequality and the need for a more progressive economic system.
  It is hard to take them seriously when you look at their support for 
this EPA regulation. Regulations such as these are incredibly 
regressive. This regulation will increase the cost of energy. That 
might not mean a great deal to the folks who are financing President 
Obama's reelection, but to low-and middle-income citizens, increased 
energy costs hit family budgets hard.
  And it will undermine jobs. Anyone who claims to care about job 
creation, while at the same time supporting this regulation, has to 
answer a few questions. Americans are tired of lipservice when it comes 
to job creation. They are tired of having a job creation agenda taking 
a back seat to the agenda of lifestyle liberals.
  They want Congress and the President to be serious about creating 
jobs and keeping our Nation competitive in a global economy. This 
regulation not only threatens jobs at coal mines and powerplants.
  Much more is at stake. We are talking about a threat to the millions 
of jobs that are created when we as a nation enjoy the abundant 
affordable energy that allows us, America, to compete against our 
aggressive international rivals.
  Let me remind my colleagues on the other side of this issue about the 
success of my own State of Utah. For 2 years running, Forbes magazine 
has listed Utah as the best State for business and jobs. Utah is a 
grand success story, and national policymakers should look to it for 
answers. Why is Utah creating jobs, while many areas of the United 
States are losing them? Well, there are a number of factors, but a very 
big one is that we are a very competitive State. After comparing the 
cost of doing business in other States, more and more companies are 
moving to Utah. A key factor in that decision is Utah's very low cost 
of energy. The State ranks fourth in the Nation for low cost industrial 
energy rates. I am aware of a number of instances where this has been a 
deciding factor when a major business decides to relocate to Utah. In 
almost every case, the States these companies are moving away from have 
high industrial energy rates. And, yes, about 70 percent of Utah's 
power comes from clean, efficient, coal-fired powerplants.
  It is obvious that many of my colleagues on the other side of this 
issue just cannot grasp this truth; but the fact of the matter is that 
competiveness is critical to economic growth and job creation. It 
should come as no surprise that President Obama's hundreds of anti-
energy efforts have failed to grow jobs in this country.
  I urge my colleagues to look to my State of Utah as a model for 
success. We need to get off the road toward the nanny State. How bad 
does the European model have to get before we wake up and recognize 
that we want nothing to do with that type of big government failure. 
America is great because we have relied on the fundamentals of a free 
people living in a free market. And underlying our vibrant and free 
economy is consistently affordable energy. Affordable energy is the 
lifeblood of a healthy economy and always has been. I urge my 
colleagues to protect these fundamentals and send this Utility MACT 
rule back to the EPA for a major rewrite.
  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Madam President, I rise today to urge my 
colleagues to oppose S.J. Res. 37, a resolution of disapproval of the 
Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, offered by Senator Inhofe. The 
Senator from Oklahoma is a powerful advocate for his point of view, but 
I respectfully disagree that we do not need to control the emission of 
mercury and other toxics into our air.
  This vote is one in a continuous drumbeat of attacks on environmental 
rules we have seen of late. It is unfortunate that some of my 
colleagues are attacking clean air and water rules with such fervor, 
especially in the name of economic recovery. When it comes to putting 
America back on firm economic footing, we should be working towards a 
comprehensive budget solution that shows the American people and the 
world that Congress can still function in the face of major challenges 
rather than with attacks on the Environmental Protection Agency.
  Yet so often we hear vague, catch-all criticisms that upcoming EPA 
rules--real or imagined--will create uncertainty in the regulated 
community, impeding economic recovery. The irony is that attacks that 
seek to delay or remand EPA rules only exacerbate and prolong 
regulatory uncertainty.
  Also, recall that Congress directed EPA in the Clean Air Act more 
than 20 years ago to develop many of the rules the agency is currently 
working on. That is the case with the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. 
Many other rules are coming about as a result of court orders. So, put 
simply, EPA is doing its job.
  To be sure, Congress also has a job to do when it comes to oversight 
of administration rules. For instance, I have been and will continue to 
work with EPA to make sure EPA actions respect the realities of life in 
rural and arid communities. This is especially important when it comes 
to regulations impacting Colorado water users and our farmers and 
  However, wholesale assault on an agency whose mission is to protect

[[Page S4330]]

human health and the environment is neither a recipe for economic 
recovery nor a path to fostering healthier communities within which our 
families and neighbors live.
  Let me turn specifically to the resolution of disapproval offered by 
Senator Inhofe.
  Many of my colleagues have described on the Senate floor the various 
health benefits of the rule. I would like to associate myself with 
their remarks, because the health benefits of controlling mercury 
emissions are remarkable: as many as 11,000 fewer premature deaths each 
year; 130,000 fewer cases of childhood asthma each year; and 4,700 
fewer heart attacks each year just to name a few.
  But I want to add two other aspects to the debate. One, clean air and 
water are good for our economy.
  In Colorado, for example, outdoor recreation and tourism make up the 
second largest sector of our economy. Coloradans enjoy skiing, hiking, 
hunting, angling, camping, boating and many other outdoor activities, 
and many Americans come to Colorado for these experiences. Our outdoor 
recreation economy contributes $10 billion a year to the State's 
economy and supports over 100,000 Colorado jobs.
  This isn't limited to Colorado. Nationally, the outdoor recreation 
economy is worth $646 billion, supporting 6.1 million jobs.
  Clean air and water are an integral part of the national outdoor 
recreation system. It can not function if our children are too sick to 
come outside to play or our waters are too polluted to fish.
  Two, investing in our infrastructure through modern pollution 
controls is how we ensure long-term economic recovery.
  ADA-Environmental Solutions is a company in Highlands Ranch, CO. ADA-
Environmental Solutions is the leading producer of mercury control 
equipment for utilities across the country. Part of their mission is to 
``sustain the viability of coal'' through the development of 
technologies that ``reduce emissions, increase efficiency and improve 
the competitive position'' of their customers.
  As the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards go into effect, many 
utilities will upgrade their facilities with modern pollution controls. 
It may surprise some of my constituents in Colorado to learn that some 
of these plants have been operating without pollution controls for 40 
years or more.
  Those upgrades will be installed by Americans and provided by 
companies like ADA-Environmental Solutions. Those upgrades represent an 
investment in American jobs and a modern utility infrastructure.
  In summary, clean air and water do not come at the expense of our 
economy. Rather, a healthy environment and a healthy economy go hand-
  Putting safeguards in place on the largest source of mercury 
emissions in the United States is long overdue. That is why I will be 
opposing S.J. Res. 37 today, and I urge my colleagues to do the same.
  Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in 1970, smoke stacks towered above 
cities and towns spewing black clouds of toxic pollution into the air.
  Sights like these outraged Americans--however, at that time there was 
no legal way to force these companies to stop polluting the 
  In response to these atrocities, Congress did two things in 1970:
  First, Congress created the Environmental Protection Agency to defend 
our natural resources and force polluters to clean up their factories 
and plants.
  And second, Congress passed the Clean Air Act with overwhelming 
bipartisan support to help ensure that all Americans could breathe 
clean air, free from toxic chemicals.
  In the 40 years since, Republicans and Democrats have worked together 
in Congress to protect the health of America's families from the 
country's biggest polluters.
  But this week in the Senate, we will vote on a provision that 
threatens to destroy all that progress by rolling back a critical 
environmental and health regulation.
  Senator Inhofe has introduced a resolution that would prevent the EPA 
from enforcing the first national standard to regulate the emission of 
mercury and air toxins from power plants.
  Until now, there had been no Federal standards that required power 
plants to limit their emission of mercury, arsenic, chromium, and acid 
gases. And so their pollution went unchecked.
  This led to power plants becoming the single largest source of 
mercury in the United States. Power plants are currently responsible 
for 50% of the mercury, 62% of the arsenic, and over 75% of the acid 
gases emitted in this country every year.
  These are deadly chemicals. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can 
hinder brain development and the central nervous systems of children, 
even while in their mother's womb.
  And the heavy metals and acids emitted by power plants can cause 
various cancers and respiratory, neurological, developmental, and 
reproductive problems.
  So the idea that we should allow power plants to continue to pump 
hundreds of thousands of tons of dangerous pollution into the 
environment instead of adding any of the readily available pollution 
controls is completely outrageous.
  The harmful, toxic chemical emissions from these plants must be 
stopped and that is what the EPA's new Mercury and Air Toxics 
Standards, or MATS as they are called, does.
  When implemented, the new standards will reduce mercury and acid gas 
emissions from power plants by almost 90%.
  These reductions will save billions of dollars in public health 
spending each year by avoiding thousands of cases of premature deaths, 
aggravated asthma, and heart attacks.
  In fact, every dollar spent to reduce pollution emission under the 
MATS rule will result in $3 $9 of health benefits.
  In my state of Illinois alone, the MATS rule will save $4.7 billion 
and prevent an estimated 570 premature adult deaths in the next four 
  That might be why recent polling shows that 77% of Americans support 
the MATS rule and the reductions in air pollution that it will achieve.
  However, Senator Inhofe wants to prevent these critical standards 
from being enforced--claiming that they are too strict and that 
companies have not had enough time to prepare.
  But, Mr. President, this new rule didn't come out of nowhere.
  Energy companies have known for more than 20 years, since the last 
major changes to the Clean Air Act in 1990, that new air pollution-
control rules were coming and that the new rules would require them to 
reduce their toxic emissions.
  That is why many power plants have already made the changes necessary 
to comply with the new rules by installing scrubbers and other air 
pollution-control technologies.
  However, instead of investing in these available control 
technologies, some companies did little or nothing over the past 
decades to improve their old, inefficient plants.
  And now these same companies state that it would be impossible for 
them to comply with the MAT standards without massive job losses and 
blackouts across the electricity grid. The facts suggest otherwise.
  According to the Environmental Policy Institute, the EPA's new 
standards are expected to create approximately 8,000 jobs in the 
utility industry and an additional 80,500 jobs from investments in 
pollution control equipment by 2015. And the majority of these jobs 
will be in the construction and labor industries.
  Mike Morris is chief executive of American Electric Power, a utility 
with multiple coal-fired plants. He said, ``We have to hire plumbers, 
electricians, [and] painters when you retrofit a plant. Jobs are 
created in the process--no question about that.''
  In fact, the MATS rule is expected to add a net 117,000 jobs to the 
economy overall. So to say that we can't create jobs without allowing 
dangerous levels of toxic chemicals into the air we breathe is simply 
wrong. And multiple Federal agencies and third parties--including the 
non-partisan Congressional Research Service, the Department of Energy, 
and the Bipartisan Policy Center--have stated that full implementation 
of the MAT Standards will not cause any reliability concerns for the 
power grid.
  EPA is working closely with the Department of Energy, the Federal 
Energy Regulatory Commission, State

[[Page S4331]]

utility regulators, and the North American Electric Reliability 
Corporation, to ensure there will be no issues with the electrical 
  So it seems that we can have clean air and keep the lights on, while 
simultaneously creating thousands of new jobs.
  We don't have to make the false choice between ensuring clean air and 
job creation--we can do both.
  The bottom line is that acid gases and heavy metals are causing 
serious health problems, especially in our most vulnerable 
populations--children and pregnant mothers.
  The EPA Mercury and Air Toxics Standards will require power plants to 
cut their emissions of these harmful chemicals by using readily 
available technology.
  Many plants across the country have already proved that the standards 
can be met while creating jobs and keeping the lights on and businesses 
  So it's time for Republicans and Democrats to once again come 
together to protect the health of Americans families and ensure that 
everyone has access to clean air.
  Therefore, I urge my colleagues to vote `no' on the motion to proceed 
to Senator Inhofe's resolution.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, how much time remains?
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Republicans have 3 minutes 47 
seconds, and the majority has 12 minutes 45 seconds.
  Mrs. BOXER. I would take 6 minutes and retain the balance.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, we are faced with a resolution today to 
essentially repeal something that has been 20 years in the making and 
is about to go into effect. It would stop the EPA, the Environmental 
Protection Agency, from implementing the first-ever national mercury 
and air toxics standards for powerplants.
  A little bit later I will talk about what mercury does to people. Let 
me assure you, it is not good. I will also talk about the other toxics 
that are emitted from these dirty plants. They are not good either. 
When I mention them, just the names will scare us because they are 
names such as arsenic and formaldehyde--not good. They are going into 
our lungs. The mercury is getting into fish. People are getting sick. 
That is why this is such a dangerous moment if we were to pass this and 
stop the EPA from doing this.

  We know that for every $3 we invest--every $1 to $3--we are going to 
get back $9 in health benefits. If we do the math and we follow the 
math, it is clear this is cost-effective and critically important.
  Ask a parent who has a child who is rushed to the emergency room with 
asthma whether they want this done. Ask a coal-fired utility that has 
made these improvements already--half of them have--and they will tell 
us there has been hardly any impact on electricity prices, and they are 
happy with them.
  If this resolution were to pass and the policy behind it were to 
pass, it means that instead of rewarding those coal-fired utilities 
that are doing the right thing, we are rewarding those that haven't 
done the right thing and continue to spew forth these toxins.
  What is at stake? I ask rhetorically of people who may be listening 
to this: Whom do we trust more, Senators and politicians or physicians 
and nurses? I think we should trust these numbers from the 
professionals who have looked at this issue. If this resolution were to 
pass and EPA is blocked from implementing this new clean air standard, 
we will see up to 11,000 additional premature deaths, 4,700 heart 
attacks, 130,000 cases of childhood asthma, 6,300 cases of acute 
bronchitis among children, 5,700 emergency room visits, and 540,000 
days of missed work. Again, the rule provides $3 to $9 in benefits for 
every $1 that is invested.
  We are going to hear other arguments from the opponents of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, but the people of America are smart. 
They were asked just 2 months ago if they want us to interfere with the 
Environmental Protection Agency as they clean up the air, clean up the 
mercury, clean up the toxic soot, and 78 percent said: Stay out of it, 
politicians, and let the Environmental Protection Agency do its job.
  We should thank the coal companies that have already cleaned up their 
act and not reward those that have delayed cleaning up their act.
  Again, we will hear all kinds of horror stories. Ask the utilities 
that have made these improvements. We have a list of them somewhere.
  We will also hear there will be lost jobs from this rule. We know 
there will be 46,000 short-term construction jobs as these plants 
become clean and 8,000 long-term jobs.
  Now look at the utilities that oppose the Inhofe CRA. They include 
Austin Energy, Avista Corporation, Calpine Corporation, Constellation 
Energy, Exelon, National Grid, NextEra Energy, NYPA, Public Service 
Enterprise Group, and Seattle City Light. Some of these have coal-fired 
powerplants. They say: What are we doing? Let's keep moving toward 
clean energy.
  I asked if we trust politicians or do we trust those who, I believe, 
are unquestionably character witnesses in this debate. Let's look at 
some of them that oppose what Senator Inhofe is trying to do today. The 
Catholic Health Association of the United States, Evangelical 
Environmental Network, Franciscan Action Network, General Baptist 
Convention, General Conference of American Rabbis, National Council of 
Churches, United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, 
United Methodist Church, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. They 
oppose what my friends on the other side are leading us to today, a 
repeal of clean air rules.
  Whom do we trust, the politicians or some of these groups that 
strongly oppose this resolution--the American Academy of Pediatrics, 
the American Association of Respiratory Care, the American Heart 
Association, the Lung Association, the Nurses Association, the Public 
Health Association, the March of Dimes, the Physicians for Social 
Responsibility, and Trust for America's Health.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator has consumed 6 minutes.
  Mrs. BOXER. I ask unanimous consent for 2 additional minutes, and 
then I will yield and retain the balance.
  Here is the chart I wished to show on utility prices. We have heard 
doom and gloom. Here are the facts. There was hardly any fluctuation in 
utility rates when half the coal-fired plants made these improvements.
  Do not fall for scare tactics because we know upgrading a utility is 
something that has to be done. It is built into the long-term plans of 
these utilities.
  What poisonous emissions does this clean air rule address? I talked 
about it before. In the balance of my time I will go through it again, 
but I am going to just name these toxins: mercury and lead, arsenic, 
selenium, cadmium, chromium, benzene, formaldehyde, acid gases, and 
toxic soot. All we need do is listen to what I said and we know we 
don't want to breathe them in and we don't want to have fish that 
contain too much mercury because it damages the nervous system in 
children and harms the brains of infants. We know how dangerous it is 
for pregnant women and children to eat this type of fish.
  Last night, we had Senator Whitehouse here from Rhode Island, and he 
was eloquent on the point. He had a picture, which was actually a 
Norman Rockwell painting--it wasn't a real painting, it was a wonderful 
poster. He said: Here is a perfect American scene of a grandpa taking a 
grandson fishing. He said that today, in his State, they can't eat the 
fish. Maybe they can once a month eat one fish, and in some of their 
lakes, they can't even eat any.
  This is wrong. This is pollution blowing from other places into the 
Northeast. Let's defeat this resolution. It is bad for the people of 
this country.
  I yield the floor and retain the balance of my time.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. The question was asked by the Senator from California: 
Whom do we trust most, elected Senators or unelected bureaucrats?
  I yield 3 minutes to the Senator from Kentucky.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Kentucky.
  Mr. PAUL. The question is, Is pollution getting better or worse? With 

[[Page S4332]]

the hysteria, one would think: My goodness. Pollution is getting so 
much worse. All measurements of pollution show we are doing a good job 
and much better than we have ever done. Most of the emissions--the big 
emissions, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide--have been going down for 
decades. We are doing a good job with pollution.
  This rule is about mercury. Powerplants emit this much of the 
mercury, as shown on this chart. Do my colleagues know that over half 
the mercury comes from natural sources? Forest fires emit more mercury 
than powerplants do. We already have eight regulations at the Federal 
level on mercury. We have a plethora of regulations at the State level.
  The question is, Is mercury getting worse or is mercury lessening? 
For the last 5 years, the amount of mercury that is being emitted has 
been cut in half. If we measure mercury in the blood of women and 
children, it is getting less. If we say: What is a safe level of 
mercury in the blood, we are below that. If we look at populations who 
eat nothing but fish, the Seychelles Islands, they have found zero 
evidence that mercury is hurting any of them. When we look at mercury 
emissions, they are going down.

  So the question is, Are we going to have a balance in our country? 
Does the other side care whether people work? We can do everything 
possible to try to eliminate this last 1 percent, but the question is, 
At what cost? Many are estimating 50,000 people are going to lose their 
jobs. Do we care if people have a job? Yes. We want to be safe, but 
there has to be a balancing act.
  The question we have to ask is: Is the environment cleaner or worse 
off? The environment is so much cleaner than it used to be. The rules 
in place are somewhat balanced and are keeping pollution under control. 
What we don't want to do is go so far over the top that we lose jobs. 
This new rule is estimated to lose 50,000 jobs.
  I think the American people need to have a say in this. We don't need 
to give up that power to unelected bureaucrats we can't remove from 
office. Let's let our representatives get involved to have more of a 
balance in the regulations.
  I suggest we vote in favor of this resolution.
  I thank the Chair.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. I understand our time has expired. I ask unanimous 
consent that Senator Kyl have 2 minutes.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Without objection, it is so 
  Mr. KYL. Madam President, S.J. Res. 37 is very important.
  If passed, this resolution would overturn one of the most costly and 
unnecessary regulations ever adopted by the EPA. Unless we in Congress 
act, that regulation, Utility MACT, would establish the first ever 
``maximum achievable control technology''--or MACT--standards for 
``hazardous air pollutant''--or HAP--emissions from powerplants.
  The Clean Air Act only allows the EPA to set MACT standards for HAP 
emissions if it can establish a hazard to public health that would make 
such regulatory action ``appropriate and necessary.''
  In December 2000, just as a new administration was set to take 
office, the Clinton EPA, under great pressure from special interests, 
promulgated a Utility MACT rule based on public health concerns about 
mercury. The data simply do not support that regulation.
  First of all, mercury does not pose health risks via inhalation, but 
rather only after entering water bodies and accumulating as 
methylmercury in the aquatic food chain. For humans, the primary route 
of mercury exposure is through eating fish. Accordingly, the EPA itself 
has acknowledged uncertainties about the extent of public health risks 
that can be attributed to electric utility mercury emissions, and it 
admits that ``there is no quantification of how much of the 
methylmercury in fish consumed by the U.S. population is due to 
electricity emissions.
  We now know too that the EPA's projections for major increases in 
mercury emissions from powerplants at the time were grossly inaccurate. 
The agency estimated that emissions would increase from 46 tons in 1990 
to 60 tons in 2010. But, in fact, they actually declined to just 29 
tons in 2011--more than 50 percent below the projections--and all 
without the MACT rule.
  Moreover, the studies EPA relied upon about methylmercury exposure in 
children and women of childbearing age have also been found to have 
inflated health risks. More recent research undertaken by the CDC 
indicates that Americans are not being exposed to levels of mercury 
considered harmful to fetuses, children, or adults. Additionally, both 
the FDA and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry have 
recommended regulatory levels for mercury that are significantly less 
stringent than the EPA's reference dose.
  With respect to nonmercury hazardous air pollutants--or HAPs--the EPA 
does not set actual limits for those emissions. Instead, it uses limits 
for fine particulate matter emissions in the standard as a surrogate 
for a variety of HAPs under the rule. While EPA calls the benefits 
associated with reducing particulate matter ``co-benefits'' of 
establishing the Utility MACT regulation, it has also stated that such 
reductions are not the primary objective or justification for the rule. 
If that is the case, then why are more than 99 percent of the rule's 
claimed health benefits due to projected reductions in particulate 
matter? I am all for incidental health benefits--it is always nice to 
get more bang for the buck--but that's simply not what is going on 
  Double-counting the benefits from reducing particulate matter as a 
Utility MACT benefit is, at best, misleading. Indeed, if 99 percent of 
the quantified health benefits cited in the rule are not due to 
reductions in HAPs, can we really call the Utility MACT rule 
``appropriate and necessary?''
  The EPA is trying to pull a fast one by regulating particulate 
matter--a non-HAP--under the guise of concern about mercury. The agency 
already regulates particulate matter emissions under the Clean Air Act, 
and it has been doing so for 15 years. If it believes there are 
benefits to further reducing particulate matter emissions, it already 
has the power to do so; adopting S.J. Res. 37 would not prevent such 
EPA action.
  Once the coincidental co-benefits from reducing particulate matter--
estimated to be $33 billion to $89 billion, or $3 to $9 in health 
benefits for every dollar of cost--are excluded from Utility MACT, the 
EPA's own cost benefit analysis demonstrates that the health benefits 
of the rule are far outweighed by its costs. The EPA estimates that 
implementing the Utility MACT rule would cost $9.6 billion in 2016, and 
that reductions in mercury emissions would provide just $0.5 to 6 
million in health benefits in the same year. This means that, even in 
the best case scenario, the cost of Utility MACT will exceed its 
estimated benefits by a factor of 1,600 to 1.
  Sixteen hundred to one.
  The cumulative costs and consequences of this and other EPA 
regulations are both real and substantial. Final and pending EPA 
regulations will reduce the diversity of America's energy portfolio, 
increase energy prices, eliminate jobs, and threaten electric 
  With regard to our energy portfolio, we are already seeing negative 
effects. Coal's share of electric power generation recently dropped to 
just 34 percent, the lowest level we have seen since the 1970s. As a 
result, utility companies have already announced plans to shut down 
more than 25,000 megawatts of electricity rather than upgrade plants 
with costly new emissions control technology. These changes in our 
energy portfolio are just the tip of the iceberg. The North American 
Electric Reliability Corporation--or NERC--estimates that EPA 
regulations will lead to an additional retirement of 36,000 to 59,000 
megawatts of electricity generation. The Federal Energy Regulatory 
Commission's Office of Electric Reliability has stated that EPA 
regulations would likely shutter 81,000 megawatts.
  These plant closure predictions from nonpartisan reliability 
organizations are 8 times higher than EPA's estimates of just 10,000 
megawatts. The closures caused by EPA regulations will not just affect 
our energy mix--they will also affect grid reliability.

[[Page S4333]]

NERC has said that EPA regulations pose the No. 1 threat to grid 
  But these reliability organizations are not the only ones concerned 
about the EPA's effect on coal and coal power generation. Earlier this 
month, Moody's changed its outlook on the coal industry to 
``negative,'' largely blaming the EPA for the downgrade. As Moody's put 
it in a statement:

       A regulatory environment that puts coal at a disadvantage 
     along with low natural gas prices, have led many utilities to 
     increase or accelerate their scheduled coal plant 

  It continued:

       In addition, newly proposed carbon dioxide regulations 
     would effectively prohibit new coal plants by requiring new 
     projects to adopt technology that is not yet economically 

  I have witnessed the EPA's attempts to reshape the energy industry 
through regulation in my home State.
  Arizona relies on coal-fired power for its base-load electricity. 
Coal mining and plant operations are an important employer and economic 
engine for Arizonans and, specifically, for our Indian Tribes. As just 
one example, take the Navajo Generating Station--or NGS--a 2,250-
megawatt facility located on the Navajo Nation's reservation.
  The NGS was constructed as part of a negotiated settlement with 
environmental interests that, at the time, preferred a coal-fired 
powerplant to a hydropower dam project in the Grand Canyon. It provides 
more than 90 percent of the pumping power for the Central Arizona 
Project, Arizona's primary water delivery system. The plant and the 
coal mined to operate it play a vital role in the economies of the 
Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe, not to mention the State as a whole. 
A study prepared by Arizona State University's Seidman Institute 
concluded that the NGS and its associated mine will account for over 
$20 billion in gross State product--GSP--almost $680 million in 
adjusted State tax revenues, and more than 3,000 jobs.
  Yet, the station's future viability is now directly threatened by 
Utility MACT and other pending EPA regulations. Right now, the EPA is 
undertaking an NGS-specific rulemaking to determine whether additional 
emissions control technologies should be installed at the station for 
purely aesthetic visibility reasons, rather than actual health 
concerns. That rulemaking could require the installation of emissions 
controls at a cost of more than $1.1 billion.
  That is just one power station--just one--$1.1 billion. And we don't 
even know yet what the estimated cost of compliance with Utility MACT 
might be.
  Steve Etsitty, executive director of the Navajo Nation EPA, said this 
about EPA's regulatory approach:

       EPA's one size fits all' approach to rulemaking fails to 
     acknowledge or address the specific concerns and impacts to 
     the Navajo Nation, as well as regional impacts. Making 
     matters worse, EPA's uncoordinated approach to rulemakings 
     impacting the same industries creates regulatory uncertainty, 
     increases compliance costs, and puts at substantial risk the 
     national and regional economies, critical jobs of Navajo 
     people, and the very viability of the Navajo government.

  I couldn't agree more.
  The consequences of a shutdown of the Navajo Generating Station would 
be felt throughout the State, and even by the Federal Government. 
However, a shutdown would most acutely impact Indian tribes, whose 
economies and access to affordable water are highly dependent on the 
  Thus, the consequences of the EPA's regulatory war on coal go far 
beyond the coal industry itself. Real people in my State and across the 
country will pay the price.
  That is why I urge my colleagues to support the resolution before us 
today. I am all for clean air. I don't know a single colleague who 
would take the opposite view. And I can assure my friends on the other 
side of the aisle that we are firmly antimercury contamination as well. 
But that is not really the question here.
  It is not a matter of clean air versus dirty air, or mercury 
contamination versus no mercury contamination. These are false 
choicest. We can have clean air and a healthy economy. We can reduce 
mercury levels and reduce unemployment. But we have to be smart about 
how we regulate.
  Utility MACT is simply a bad regulation. It is refuted by the very 
science used to justify its promulgation. Moreover, its economic 
effects would be negative and far-reaching, while its estimated 
benefits would be minimal and hardly worth the significant costs. And 
it would make domestic energy generation more difficult at a time of 
rising energy demand.
  With growing unemployment, huge deficits, and anemic growth, this is 
also the wrong time to be whacking our economy with one of the most 
expensive and far-reaching regulations ever to come from the EPA.
  We have to be smart about this, and Utility MACT is just not a smart 
  I urge my colleagues to support S.J. Res. 37 and help overturn this 
misguided, job-killing rule.
  Again, I will simply say at this point that adopting this resolution 
is very important to prevent the implementation of a regulation which I 
think has very clearly been established. It does not meet the test that 
would be required for the promulgation of a public health regulation 
and fails any test of cost-benefit analysis.
  Therefore, I urge my colleagues to think about the effect on the 
industry, on the people of America, on the economy at this time, and 
adopt the resolution offered by the Senator from Oklahoma.
  Mr. INHOFE. Madam President, I understand there is 1 minute 
remaining, so let me just clarify a couple things.
  First of all, several have made comments about the Clean Air Act. I 
was supportive of the Clean Air Act. It has done a great job, and I 
think that should be clarified.
  We have had three medical doctors testify as to the health 
implications on this.
  I would only say this: If we are truly concerned about what is 
happening, keep in mind what the Senator from Alaska, Ms. Murkowski, 
said. The maximum achievable control technology is not there. So if we 
vote against this amendment and they allow this rule to continue, we 
are effectively killing coal in America that has accounted for almost 
50 percent of our industry.
  I thank the Chair.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Am I correct that there is 4 minutes remaining on my 
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. That is correct.
  Mrs. BOXER. I yield 1 of those minutes to Senator Pryor.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from Arkansas.
  Mr. PRYOR. I thank the Senator from California.
  Right now, when we open the paper and when we turn on the evening 
news, we see these ads for clean coal. We need clean coal. We are akin 
to the Saudi Arabia of coal. They say we have 400 years' worth of coal 
supply in this country. We have the technology now to take 90 percent 
of the mercury out and a lot of the particulates and we should do it. 
This is our chance to do it.
  This is a rule that has been 20 years in the making. This is not 
something people dreamed up over the last couple years. This has been 
20 years in the making, and Congress has mandated we do this.
  I would say this in my part of the closing: We should not have to 
make a false choice. We don't have to be anticoal and prohealth. We can 
be both. We can do what is good for the health of the country and good 
for coal; that is, have clean coal, uphold this rule, and vote against 
the Inhofe resolution.
  I thank the Chair.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Senator from California.
  Mrs. BOXER. Madam President, the Senator from Oklahoma said I asked: 
Whom do we trust more, politicians or bureaucrats? No; that is not what 
I said. I said: Whom do we trust more, politicians or groups such as 
the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of 
Respiratory Care, the American Heart Association, the Lung Association, 
the nurses, the March of Dimes, et cetera. I believe that when it comes 
to the trust of the public, these groups have one concern and that 
concern is the health of our people. That is why we have to defeat this 
resolution and allow the Environmental Protection Agency, after 20 
years, to finally promulgate a rule that

[[Page S4334]]

will go after the worst toxins that are coming out of coal-fired 
  I will go through a few of these. Mercury is a heavy metal that can 
damage the nervous system in children and harm the brain of infants, 
causing slower mental development and lower intelligence. Why do we 
want to take a stand against the children and their brain development? 
Mercury can accumulate in the food chain. We know this. What happens is 
people--especially pregnant women and children--can't eat fish because 
of the high content of mercury.
  Then there is lead. These are the things we are talking about getting 
out of the air. Lead can damage the nervous system of children and harm 
the brains of infants, causing slower mental development and lower 
  There is no known safe level of lead in the blood of children. This 
is indisputable fact. It can harm the kidneys and cause high blood 
pressure, damage reproduction, cause muscle and joint pain, nerve 
disorders. Why would anyone--why would anyone stand on this floor and 
say it is OK to allow these toxins to be polluting our environment? 
Arsenic is a heavy metal that causes cancer, damages the nervous 
system, kidneys, and liver. Powerplants account for 62 percent of all 
the arsenic pollution we are fighting against. Why would anyone who 
cares about the people they represent vote for this resolution and stop 
the EPA from cleaning up our air?
  Vote no. There is no reason to risk the health of the American people 
by voting for the utility CRA resolution. If the resolution passes and 
if that resolution were to become the policy of this country, 
thousands--hundreds of thousands of Americans every year would be 
harmed. This is not rhetoric, this is fact. Scientists have told us 
this. The health groups have told us this.
  I urge a strong ``no'' vote.
  I yield the floor.
  Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, I ask for the yeas and nays.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Is there a sufficient second?
  There appears to be a sufficient second.
  The question is on agreeing to the motion.
  The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. KYL. The following Senator is necessarily absent: the Senator 
from Illinois (Mr. Kirk).
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. Are there any other Senators in the 
Chamber desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 46, nays 53, as follows:

                      [Rollcall Vote No. 139 Leg.]


     Johnson (WI)
     Nelson (NE)


     Brown (MA)
     Brown (OH)
     Johnson (SD)
     Nelson (FL)
     Udall (CO)
     Udall (NM)

                             NOT VOTING--1

  The motion was rejected.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The majority leader.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, if I could have the attention of the 
Senate, we did very well yesterday. We have a lot to do. We have to 
work on this. We have flood insurance. Both are important issues.
  This is going to be a 10-minute vote. The order that has been entered 
is that all the remaining votes are 10 minutes. We had a 15-minute vote 
on the first one. I know there are a lot of things going on today, but 
we are going to have to work around them. That is the most important 
part of our job--voting. So let's work. Let's try to get out of here. 
We are going to try to finish this bill tonight.